Skip to main content

[Review] What Is The Church?: Crucial Questions 17 by R.C. Sproul

Title: What Is The Church: Crucial Questions 17
Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust October 7,  2013
Genre: Non-Fiction
Theme: Defining the Christian Church
Format: Kindle
Age: Adult
Pages: 82
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free Kindle copy. I chose to read and review.

The Kindle copy of this book is FREE at this time. 

R. C. Sproul begins by giving the Council of Nicea's defnition of the church.
  1. "The church is one."
  2. "The church is holy."
  3. "The church is Catholic."
  4. "The church is apostolic."
Sproul explains each of them in nine short chapters.
The first point, "the church is one": "this would be the last thing we would say the church is now." Later in the first chapter a quote from Sproul gives a thorough explanation.
"When the church was called to unity in the New Testament, however, we must remember that the Apostle Paul spoke of unity in these terms: one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. This unity is not something that is merely superficial in terms of being a unified organization or a unified methodology, but first and foremost, it is a unified confession of faith in the person and work of Christ. And second, the content of that confession is to be agreed upon." 
Several topics Sproul addresses in this book in addition to breaking down the definitions of the church:
  • Church hopping. 
  • Early church development and history.
  • Heresy, pertaining to early Gnosticism and current liberal views of not holding scripture sacred.
  • Importance of fellowship and commitment to attending church.
  • The holy calling of the church, it's mission and importance.
  • Discipline of church members.
I feel this is an excellent book on defining, "What Is The Church?" As a church member of 40 years I thought I could've given an answer if someone had asked me. I was wrong. Sometimes things can appear to be so straight forward in my mind as to what I would say, yet stumbling over inept words is more of what would happen. After reading "What Is The Church?,"  I feel better qualified to give an intelligent answer. It is important to know why and what I believe, I don't want to be a pew sitter, but an active member in all respects.
The teaching on the importance of keeping Scripture sacred and not allowing another person or entity to disrupt the Bible's teachings, nor rip away its content stood out to me. The history of when liberalism began in the 19th century church, the arguments of liberals versus fundamentalism, are expressed. Arguing for the sake of arguing is not what I'm to do, yet complete negligence and disrespect from a church member or pastor that changes scripture for their "tune" is unacceptable.
Even though I attend church on Sunday's and have all my life, reading about the importance of coming together in fellowship (koinonia) with other believers, cheered me on.