This thesis seeks to set out the problem of the nature of the church and to present a consistent answer to the problem.
In establishing the problem, the method of approach has been (l) to set out the universal, invisible church concept, (2) to present and critically examine representative opposing views, and (3) to show the absence of historical justification for any view other than the local.
In attempting to present a positive and consistent approach to the problem, the universal church theory has been examined (l) in the light of the fundamental idea of ekklesia. (2) by a careful exegesis of its major proof texts, and (3) by pointing out its misinterpretations of related doctrines.
The author's conclusion is that the universal, invisible church concept should be regarded merely as a theory because sufficient evidence is lacking to establish it as a fact.
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