The church is one of the most intriguing and significant institutions on earth. Because its essence and character are so widely misunderstood, this is a timely book. The church is not a mere human institution, though it is made up of human beings in community. Its roles and responsibilities are momentous, but all the elements of its organization came about as the church developed and attempted to fulfill its divine mandate, not as forms given at its founding. These papers from a Bingham Colloquium at McMaster Divinity College treat the church "then" in studies of the church in the various parts of the New Testament canon, followed by a historical study of the church under attack in places where it did not survive. The latter part of the book contains essays by several church practitioners from "now" who discuss their insights about and experiences with postmodern society, home churches, megachurches, and the missional church. Such a combination of biblical theology, history, and practice makes this a valuable book for scholars and practitioners, in fact, for all thinking members of the church founded by Jesus Christ.