Engaging Ecclesiology: Papers from the Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference 2021

By A.T.B. McGowan (editor)

Eight challenging and thought-provoking essays about the nature and purpose of the church from the 2021 biennial Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference



Engaging Ecclesiology presents eight challenging and thought-provoking essays from the 2021 Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference (EDC), which is a biennial event led by the Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology. Considering the pressing reality of the decline of the church, particularly in Europe, the essays question the nature and purpose of the church in society today. Using rigorous biblical and theological examination, the contributors provide solutions and clarity to the ecclesiastical quandaries that have arisen over recent times.

The EDC creates a positive forum for the constructive discussion of Reformed Theology. The essays represent a unified front in the face of the growing disunity and schisms found in the church.

Additional information


Trade Information ST03503

About the Author

A.T.B. McGowan is Director of the Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology, which encourages biblical and theological thought. He is also a professor of theology at the University of the Highlands and Islands, president of the Scottish Evangelical Theology, and vice-chairman of the World Reformed Fellowship and chairman of its theological commission.

Endorsements and Reviews

Renewed attention to the doctrine of the church is a notable feature of recent Protestant works of systematic theology. This collection offers an array of informed and insightful essays that not only address but also develop the current dialogue in creative ways. This volume thus marks a warmly welcome addition to the ongoing conversation. Paul T. Nimmo, University of Aberdeen

With so many controversies, scandals, and stories of deconstruction, it is hard to think of an area in theology that has as much cynicism swirling around it these days as ecclesiology; that means it is exactly the time for us to revisit the topic. Thankfully, this volume brings trusted voices together to remind us of the indispensability of the church for Christian faith and life. Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College

Not only is the Christian church in the West in freefall, but the face of the church is rapidly changing because of compromises with the world’s agenda and the reaction of people who vote with their feet. The authors of these valuable studies take these current problems on board. With insightful analysis, they draw on the riches of Scripture and the historic Christian tradition to suggest new paths. A challenging read for all those concerned by the question – Wither the church? Paul Wells, Faculté Jean Calvin, emeritus

Engaging Ecclesiology alerts us to questions, texts, conversations, and challenges that are important for ecclesiology in the twenty-first century. It will be a help to Reformed Christians of various stripes and even to many from other traditions as it models a multi-aspectival analysis of the doctrine of the church. Michael Allen, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

As the first edition of the newly conceived Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology, Engaging Ecclesiology brings together eight essays from significant British scholars, each reflecting on the nature, identity, formation, and challenges of the Reformed church and churches more generally. In a world of miserable deconstruction, this volume is a work of constructive dogmatics. The abiding theme of the essays is hope and a confident, but realistic, view of the church. Myk Habets, Laidlaw College