What is a church? What makes a church a church? What is necessary to have a church? Is membership in a local church really that important? Might a group of people who claim to be Christians become so unlike what a church should be that they should no longer be called a church? Why are there so many churches of different traditions? What is tradition? Are the historical traditions of the church still relevant today? These and many others are questions related to the life and purpose of the church, which every Christian must wrestle with not only for themselves, as disciples of Jesus, but also for others to whom they are called to make disciples.
One of the early confessions of the Christian church centers on the catholicity of the church--"we believe in the holy Catholic Church." It was Ignatius who first used the word catholic and rightly identified the church as the Catholic Church: “Where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This book offers a fresh look at this important mark of the church from an evangelical perspective, and seeks to elucidate the life (being) and purpose (doing) of the church. The author believes that “catholicity is to the church as the Trinity is to God.” “We are Catholic” is a confession of our faith in Christ, our commitment to the unity of the church (local and universal)--anchored in the Word and in the Spirit--and our passion for the mission to all the nations as a community of disciples of Jesus Christ.