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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The church has often found it necessary to bolster sacramental theology with the scaffolding of philosophical explanation, but scaffolding is not a building. Fundamental sacramental theology should be worked out not primarily from philosophical concepts but from the gospel. Here, the gospel is understood as an eschatological proclamation concerning the coming of the kingdom of God. That kingdom is instantiated in history in communities of believers who adhere to the Word of God, submit to pastoral discipline, and are shaped by rites and signs. The chapter defends the claim that sacraments are signs of the eschatological ekklesia from the New Testament, and then demonstrates how this framework helps to avoid or resolve many of the historic disputes in sacramental theology.

Keywords: kingdom, signs, performance, gospel, body of Christ, eschatological ecclesiology

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