"The Community of the Word"One of my favorite works addressing Evangelical ecclesiology is found in The Community of the Word. It has several fascinating essays toward an Evangelical ecclesiology, including one written by Ellen T. Charry, “Sacramental Ecclesiology.” She writes,

“What is a sacramental ecclesiology? A sacramental ecclesiology is the teaching that the church—that body whose identity, vision and mission are constituted by its participation in the work of God in Israel and Jesus Christ—is enacted and symbolized through the sacraments. It claims not only that the church is the field, building, temple or household of God, but also that it is so by virtue of symbolic participation in that work. The church is created by God’s work in Israel and in Christ and his holiness sanctifies those who participate in that drama liturgically and sacramentally. Her members are accountable to the church’s identity, vision, mission and ministry. A sacramental ecclesiology is broad, for it follows St. Augustine’s insistence that the church is a mixed multitude of the pious and the impious, a school for sinners, not a club of the saved, as Rowan Greer often put it. Luther and Calvin, of course, followed Augustine. In short, a sacramental ecclesiology means that the church is that community comprised of those who are sanctified into the drama of God by virtue of sacramental grace effectuated by the holiness of God himself, rather than anything of their own doing.” (The community of the Word: Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiology)

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