how the abstract can't stay there

Every theological system has an associated sociology, such that we can fully understand the claims of a theological perspective only if we attempt to see what it would look like if those claims were fleshed out in the life of the community. Thus an examination of such a link can be used to test cautiously the adequacy of the theological position in question.

What kind of sermons would be preached? What would be the patterns of spiritual formation? How would ecclesial [church] decisions be made? How would spouses treat each other, and how would they raise their children? What would be the character of the community's evangelism, counseling, and catechizing [training new believers]? How would the members of the community deal with the pressing problems of humankind in general?

~ Richard Mouw, in He Shines in All That's Fair