Reviews

|

The Church’s Three-Part Harmony
Image: Illustration by Jon Krause
Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three
Our Rating
not rated  
Book Title
Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three
Author
Publisher
IVP Academic
Release Date
March 21, 2017
Pages
143
Price
$14.45
Buy Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three from Amazon

Christ prayed that his followers would be one (John 17:11, 22). But the global church is clearly and deeply divided—the Catholics broke from the Orthodox, then the Protestants broke from the Catholics, and now the Protestants are endlessly divided among themselves.

American evangelicals are currently engaged in some soul searching about what precisely constitutes an “evangelical”—and whether that designation is even worth keeping. Many gen-Xers and millennials, unsatisfied with the consumer-style churches favored by their parents, have departed for more liturgical forms of worship characterized by creeds, incense, and rituals. And all the while, especially in the global South, Pentecostal churches continue to grow, though not without creating controversy along the way.

In such an unsettled environment, how can Jesus’ prayer for church unity possibly be fulfilled?

Gordon T. Smith, president of Ambrose University in Canada, has an exciting and promising proposal in his book Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three. Smith has fashioned a beautiful vision for the unity and interdependence of these major streams of the church.

Smith’s descriptors obviously need some teasing out. By evangelical, he refers to those churches characterized by a high regard for Scripture. By sacramental, he has in mind churches—Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian—that place a great deal of weight on the significance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. By Pentecostal, Smith means churches that seek the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit and aim to recapture the spiritual vitality of the apostolic age.

What Smith offers is no airy-fairy ecumenical project. His point ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These Next
Also in this IssueWho Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy?
Who Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy? Subscriber Access Only
The ‘thief‘ may not be who you think it is.
RecommendedWhy Christians Can Celebrate Passover, Too
Why Christians Can Celebrate Passover, Too
A Response to ‘Jesus Didn’t Eat a Seder Meal.’
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickWho's In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?
Who's In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?
The age of the Internet has birthed a crisis of authority, especially for women.
Christianity Today
The Church’s Three-Part Harmony
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2017

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.