Ecclesiology (the theology of the church) is a neglected topic in contemporary theology. At a time when the institutional churches are experiencing dramatic decline, says Michael Jinkins, we need a new understanding of what the church is. In this work, Jinkins challenges the church to rediscover its vocation, to follow Jesus Christ even at the risk of its institutional survival. In the face of a variety of perceived threats to its future, he reminds us that the church is most alive and attractive when it forgets about itself and its safety. The ecclesiology Jinkins puts forward is born from a sense of "life in Christ" that can, he argues, face institutional death to recover a remarkable freedom. Without detailing the face of the future church, he asserts his faith that there is indeed life after death for the church as the worshipping body of Christ.
"Written in a lively and often very eloquent style, this little book gives theologians much to think about...[Jinkins] offers fresh and exciting perspectives and should enliven future discussions about the doctrine of the church...provocative and groundbreaking."--The Journal of Religion
"[Jinkins] leads the reader through a theological reflection on the 'death' of the Church institutionally, bringing to this question a rich resource of authors. It is an inquiry worth making."--Theological Studies