“Nobody can emerge from a careful reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians with a privatized gospel. For Ephesians is the gospel of the church. It sets forth God’s eternal purpose to create through Jesus Christ a new society which stands out in bright relief against the sombre background of the old world. For God’s new society is characterized by life in place of death, by unity and reconciliation in place of division and alienation, by the wholesome standards of righteousness in place of the corruption of wickedness, by love and peace in place of hatred and strife, and by unremitting conflict with evil in place of a flabby compromise with it.”
“The Gospel does not become public truth for a society by being propagated as a theory or as a worldview and certainly not as a religion. It can become public truth only insofar as it is embodied in a society (the church) which is both “abiding in” Christ and engaged in the life of the world.”
—Lesslie Newbigin, Proper Confidence, 39.
“Our church communities ought to be cities of refuge for sinners, busy with the traffic of forgiveness, busy with people learning the ‘craft’ of forgiveness–ordinarily by getting apprenticed to a master forgiver or two. The idea is that saints ought to teach forgiveness to saints-in-training. In the holy catholic church (the communion of saints), we should be rehearsing the forgiveness of sins like pianists, practicing the hard parts over and over till we get them right.”
—Cornelius Plantinga Jr.