A concept of the church current in post-Enlightenment modernity, of a religious society founded for the voluntary association of like-minded individuals, continues to dominate among many Christians today, especially in North American and western European contexts. This idea of church is particularly threatened by difference and conflict. Differences in matters of faith and values in such an ecclesiology mean that someone must be wrong in their private religious opinions. And, even if these opinions are privately held, they may undo the weak bonds of association among members of a Christian fellowship. Conflict, thus, is to be dreaded, and avoided. Unity for many in such an ecclesiology is synonymous with uniformity. Tolerance is theoretically valued, but toleration may mean little more than enlightened forbearance with the errors (i.e. differences) of others. The irony is that the church that can be undone by difference is a church more closely related to the polis of antiquity and the religious society of John Locke than to the diverse, vibrant, lively, and often messy communities of faith that spring to life on the pages of the NT. This essay seeks to advance an alternative ecclesiology conversant with classical trinitarian theology, grounded in the historical experience of the church, and open to certain streams of cultural pluralism.