Given the way many in the West have read the New Testament in the last century, the church might be regarded as an afterthought at best. But at the worst, it can be viewed as an unnecessary, perhaps even problematic, institutionalization of genuine faith especially in our post-denominational context. These perspectives fly in the face of the robust ecclesiological concerns and commitments of the New Testament documents when read as witnesses from, to, and for congregations of God's people.
For Wall, the problem is spiritual because fewer go to find God in church. Why the church? Because this peculiar fellowship of saints, whose loving communion is with the risen One, has been appointed by the triune God as God's herald. With its sacred vocation, every demonstration of the church's oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity - each eschatological mark enabled and brought to maturity by God's grace - is the concrete means to address our theological crisis. This book will contribute to New Testament studies but also serve related discussions in theology and church history. Reframing New Testament Theology is a series that fulfills the need for brief, substantive, yet highly accessible introductions to central questions and themes raised by New Testament study.