What does it mean to believe in the church? What is the relationship between the church we believe in and the church we experience? Is there an invisible church that is different from the visible?
This book is an argument for an ecclesiology of the visible. The only church, the real church, is a concrete reality made up of people, just like any other fellowship. What distinguishes it as church is the presence of the triune God among those who gather in the name of Jesus, making it a sign and anticipation of the fellowship of the kingdom of God.
From this premise Dr. Hegstad analyzes such issues as the relationship between church and world, mission and diakonia, church as fellowship and organization, ministries in the church, worship, and the unity of the church, as well as discussing the relationship between a sociological and a theological understanding of the church.