Ascension and Ecclesia: Promise-Driven Ministry in a Purpose-Driven Age
Often neglected, the ascension of Christ is of considerable consequence not only for our salvation but for the identity and mission of the church. Exploring Ephesians 4:1-16, this lecture will concentrate on the flow of gifts from the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit, through the ministry of his Word, to all the saints. Reversing this flow of gifts, the church is often tempted to imagine that it is building rather than receiving the kingdom. Evidence of this tendency may be discerned in the language of “living the gospel,” “being the gospel,” “our partnering with God in the redemption and transformation of the world,” and other expressions that might encourage an inflated ecclesial ego. What does Ephesians 4 tell us about the source and means of Christ’s gift-giving in the world? Is the emphasis on “every-member-ministry” and ecclesial activism placing an unscriptural burden on the saints, weakening rather than widening our mission in the world?
Dr. Horton has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998. Also host of the White Horse Inn (a weekly broadcast) and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine, he has written many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Receiving degrees from Biola University, Westminster California, and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and the University of Coventry, and completed a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship at Yale University.