Happy New Year!

I’m writing a paper on revival and missiology, and came across this quote which got me thinking…

“The churches shaped by the Reformation were left with a view of the church that was not directly intended by the Reformers, but nevertheless resulted from the way that they spoke about the church. Those churches came to conceive the church as ‘a place where certain things happened.’ The Reformers emphasized as the ‘marks of the true church’ that such a church exists wherever the gospel is rightly preached, the sacraments rightly administered, and (they sometimes added) church discipline exercised. . . .  Over time, these ‘marks’ narrowed the church’s definition of itself toward a ‘place where’ idea. . . .  This perception of the church gives little attention to the church as a communal entity or presence, and it stresses even less the community’s role as the bearer of missional responsibility throughout the world, both near and far away.”  — (Huntsburger in  Missional Church 1998: 79).

Is he making too much of the subtle change in emphasis?

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