Dr. Terry Cross, dean of the School of Religion and distinguished professor of systematic theology at Lee University, recently completed his book “The People of God’s Presence: An Introduction to Ecclesiology,” which was published by Baker Academic Press.
“‘The People of God's Presence’ is a fresh and exciting proposal of a rigorous theology of the church that seeks to witness faithfully in changing contexts,” said scholar and theologian Darrell Guder of Princeton Theological Seminary. “Cross argues a very high theology of the assembled worshiping community. Supporting this focus is a robust theology of the essential presence and work of the Holy Spirit as a constructive offer from the Pentecostal tradition.”
This book is a product of almost 20 years of research that results in a doctrinal understanding of the Church arising from Cross’ academic study in systematic theology and his practical experience as a pastor. In it, Cross argues that the Christian Church in Western societies is facing the prospect of irrelevancy in future generations. Instead of providing a programmatic change for the Church, he proposes a return to biblical and theological foundations for “who” the Church is and “what” the Church is to do.
“Cross wants to reinfuse into Christian churches the reality of God's presence, especially in the person and work of the Holy Spirit,” said Don Thorsen (Azusa Pacific University). “Cross offers some radical suggestions for restoring God's presence both in public worship and in the proclamation of Scripture.”
Steven Studebaker (McMaster Divinity College) said, “Rather than offering a new method for church outreach, Cross insists on renewing the church's theology. Only a theological re-formation of the Church can cultivate authentic practices of worship, discipleship, and ministry required for fulfilling the church's God-given mission in its dynamic 21st century cultural context.”
Cross has just completed a companion volume for this book titled, “Serving the People of God’s Presence: A Theology of Ministry,” which will be available in 2020 from Baker Academic Press.
Prior to his work at Lee, Cross was a pastor for 12 years and a high school teacher of Latin and history. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at Lee University in 2000 and the Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2001.
His other publications include “The Spirit and the Mind: Essays in Informed Pentecostalism in Honor of Donald N. Bowdle,” “Dialectic in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of God,” and “Answering the Call in the Spirit: Pentecostal Reflection on a Theology of Vocation, Work, and Life.”
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