Alexander J. D. Irving, God, Freedom, and the Body of Christ: Toward a Theology of the Church (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2020)
Irving, Alexander J. D. God, Freedom, and the Body of Christ: Toward a Theology of the Church. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2020
A contribution to the end of the Church knowing itself as the body of Christ. Irving articulates a theology of the Church as that which participates in all that Jesus is in his vicarious humanity by the power of the Spirit. This is developed through a dialogical (or covenantal) frame that has its focal point in Christ, in whom the faithful love of God toward creation and the faithful love of creation toward God is actualized. The Church as the body of Christ participates in the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ. Each chapter explores a different element of this participatory ecclesiology.
This book offers a constructive ecclesiology, built from the ground up on the foundation of a dialogical perspective, which has participation in Christ as its controlling center. This foundation provides the basis upon which an exhilarating vision of the Church can be built, to encourage Christians to cherish the Church as the body of Christ which participates in the triune communion through being included into the Son by the power of the Spirit and comes to reflect the triune God in its own structures.
"In this valuable book Alexander Irving offers a thoroughly theological ecclesiology with ecumenical promise. He explains in detail and with care and insight just how and why the Church, in all its human activities, including prayer and sacraments, can and should be properly understood not from itself precisely because it takes its formative movements from God as it participates in the vicarious humanity of Christ through faith and by grace. Irving illustrates exactly how and why the living Christ in power of his Holy Spirit is and must be at the center from start to finish. This book is must-reading for all who want to understand the proper meaning of the Church as the body of Christ." --Paul D. Molnar, Professor of Systematic Theology, St. John's University, Queens, New York
"For those looking for an explanation of the Church commensurate to the doctrine of the Trinity, the vicarious humanity of Christ, the indwelling work of the Spirit, and a fully participatory account of human agency, look no further. Irving's work is lively, timely, articulate, and intriguing. Key insights from mentors such as Thomas F. Torrance and Karl Barth are woven into a rich and capacious understanding of the nature, being, and function of the Church." --Myk Habets, Head of Theology, Laidlaw College, Senior Research Fellow, Australian College of Theology