What do we mean by “Church” or “church”? When we use this term (or these terms, when writing permits distinguishing them with the capital letter), we really mean a handful of distinct things — it is important to keep these clear. In today’s episode, we go over the Church (universal), the church (institutional), and the church (local, congregational). For the Christian, there is great comfort in recognizing the reality of the Church, even when the churches may be in disarray.
“In short, according to Lutheran teaching, it is faith in the Gospel which in every case establishes membership in the Christian Church. To him who believes the Gospel, membership in the Christian Church may not be denied; of him who rejects the Gospel, membership in the Christian Church may not be asserted. Excommunication pronounced against true believers does not deprive them of membership in the Church.”
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics
Subscribe to the podcast here.