Ephesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement

If you want to understand principles for the growth of Christianity in the first century, the place to begin is the city of Ephesus. In this winsome study, Ephesiology offers readers a comprehensive view of the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in the most significant city of the New Testament, and compels us to ask the question: how can we effectively connect Christ to our culture? 

This is not another methodology or attempt to re-contextualize evangelicalism. Rather, it is a journey from the launch of the church in Ephesus as it became a movement grounded in God’s mission and led by those who multiplied generations of disciples. Michael T. Cooper focuses on Paul and John as missiological theologians who successfully connected Jesus’s story with the cultural context and narrative of the people in Ephesus. Their ability to relate the God of all creation to a people who sought him in vain resulted in “the Way” transforming the religious, intellectual, economic, and social fabrics of the Ephesian society.

Through this study of a movement, discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world. 

Praise for Ephesiology

Masterfully handling the book of Ephesians and using its content as a definitive guide, Michael Cooper lays a theologically strong foundation that is both corrective and directive to disciple making movements.  The principles he gleans from the book of Ephesians and related texts, help to ensure the on-going multiplication and maturation of a movement. Because these are supra-cultural principles, they are applicable anywhere in the world.”

Marvin J. Newell, Staff Missiologist, Missio Nexus, Author of Crossing Cultures in Scripture

All Endorsements

Table of Contents

Foreword – Matt Till

1. Introducing Ephesiology
2. Church Planting Movements in the Book of Acts
3. Launching a Movement I: Missiological Exegesis
4. Launching a Movement II: Missiological Reflection
5. Launching a Movement III: Missiological Theology
6. Grounding a Movement: Missiological Theology II
7. Leading a Movement
8. Multiplying a Movement
9. Sustaining a Movement
10. The Anatomy of a Movement

Afterword – Andrew Johnson
Movement Action Plan

About the Author

Michael T. Cooper currently serves as an executive for a missions agency, training national leaders in evangelism, discipleship, leadership development, and church planting. He is the former president and CEO of an international NGO. In 2010, he founded a Business as Mission initiative that focused on helping alleviate spiritual and economic poverty in the developing world. For a decade he equipped undergraduate and graduate students at Trinity International University with skills to engage culture. He has thirty years of ministry and missions experience, ten years as a pioneer church planter in Romania after the fall of communism. He has helped equip Christian leaders in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He holds a MA in Missions from Columbia International University and a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Throughout his career, Michael has focused on creative ways to engage difficult-to- reach people with the gospel.

2 Replies to “Ephesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement”

  1. You mentioned, in that update from last falls think tank meeting, a “grand narrative” which is the sub-title of Chris Wright’s tome: The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. I wondered if you’re familiar with a quote of his on p 455 of that book which says: “It is God’s mission in relation to the nations, arguable more than any other single theme, that provides the key that unlocks the biblical grand narrative.”

    I love that book, and I listen with interest to your consensus from the think tank, which I would agree with 100%, but I am also publishing a book next month, called, simply “Obedient Nations” and in that I’m reintroducing a rendition of the ‘great commission’ which is almost light years removed from what most of our ‘missional activities’ have been…and that is, in Christ’s words in Matthew 28, He, our Anointed One, is really after ONE primary thing, in relation to our global mission, and that is “obedient NATIONS.” I see nations as both geo-political as well as ethno-linguistic, but in both cases, we could hardly count on one hand ANY nations in current history which have come close to this ideal. and THAT is where we are headed IF we are actually obedient to the risen Christ.

    I applaud your summaries, and I’m about to issue a paper with the EMS that is titled around the idea that our entire missional enterprise, at least as N. Americans, is heading into a time of radical change–both ecclesially and missionally.

    Yours for King and kingdom,
    Steve Spaulding
    resident missiologist, OC International
    719-332-6974 stevespaulding@oci.org

    1. Thanks for your comment Steve. I’m familiar with Wright’s text and appreciate the reminder. Glad to know you like the podcast.

      Much to think about regarding your idea of “obedient nations.” Look forward to learning more. I tend to think more in terms of identity than obedience as it seems to me that I can choose whether or not to obey but identity is inherent in our adoption as the people of God.

      Let’s be sure to connect at EMS.

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