Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion — God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written specifically to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


« Is the Headless Chicken Stupid? | Main | Round the Sphere Again: The Beginning and the End »

Theological Term of the Week

invisible church
“[T]he company of those who truly believe in Jesus Christ and are the recipients of salvation, both those who are currently alive and those who have died.”1

  • From scripture:
  •  But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” … . (2 Timothy 2:19 ESV)

  • From The Westminster Larger Catechism: 
  • Q. 64. What is the invisible church?

    A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.

    Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?

    A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.

  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof:
  • This church is said to be invisible, because she is essentially spiritual and in her spiritual essence cannot be discerned by the physical eye; and because it is impossible to determine infallibly who do and do not belong to her. The union of believers with Christ is a mystical union; the Spirit that unites them constitutes an invisible tie; and the blessings of salvation, such as regeneration, genuine conversion, true faith, and spiritual communion with Christ, are all invisible to the natural eye; — and yet these things constitute the real forma (ideal character) of the Church. …[T]he term “invisible should be understood in this sense…

Learn more:
  1. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: What is the church?
  2. Brian Schwertley: The Visible vs. The Invisible Church
  3. John Calvin: Invisible and Visible Church
  4. Harmony of the Reformed Confessions: Visible/Invisible Church

Related terms:

Filed under Ecclesiology

1From Dictionary of Theological Terms by Donald K. McKim.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>