Ecclesiology (Doctrine of the Church)
Sojourners and Strangers by Gregg Allison
What is a church? This can be a difficult question to answer and Christians have offered a variety of perspectives. Gregg Allison explores and synthesizes all that Scripture affirms about the new covenant people of God, capturing a full picture of the biblical church. He covers the topics of the church’s identity and characteristics; its growth through purity, unity, and discipline; its offices and leadership structures; its ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and its ministries. Here is a rich approach to ecclesiology consisting of sustained doctrinal reflection and wise, practical application.
The Church by Edmund Clowney
At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology. In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord's Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.
The Church: The Gospel Made Visible by Mark Dever
Christians face lots of practical questions when it comes to life in the local church: How is the gospel displayed in our lives together? What are we supposed to do and believe? Different followers answer differently—even as they preach the same gospel! What should we think about such differences?
A church’s life, doctrine, worship, and even polity are important issues. Yet they are so rarely addressed. The Church is Mark Dever’s primer on the doctrine of the church for all who see Scripture alone as a sufficient authority for the doctrine and life of the local church. He explains to the reader what the Bible says about the nature and purpose of the church— what it is, what it’s for, what it does.
Indeed, Scripture teaches us about all of life and doctrine, including how we should assemble for corporate worship and how we’re to organize our corporate life together. God has revealed himself by his Word. He is speak- ing to us, preparing us to represent him today, and to see him tomorrow! A congregation of regenerate members, fulfilling the responsibilities given to us by Christ himself in his Word, regularly meeting together, led by a body of godly elders, is the picture God has given us in his Word of his church.+
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
You may have read books on this topic before—but not like this one. Instead of an instruction manual for church growth, this classic text offers tried and true principles for assessing the health of your church. Whether you’re a pastor, a leader, or an involved member of your congregation, studying the nine marks of a healthy church will help you cultivate new life and well-being within your own church for God’s glory.
This classic guide has been recently revised to include a new foreword as well as updated content, illustrations, and appendices.
The Prodigal Church by Jared Wilson
This book is not a tired rant.
This book is not a reactionary diatribe.
This book is a gentle manifesto against the status quo.
In The Prodigal Church, Jared Wilson challenges church leaders to reconsider their priorities when it comes to how they “do church” and reach people in their communities, arguing that we too often rely on loud music, flashy lights, and skinny jeans to get people in the door.
Writing with the grace and kindness of a trusted friend, Wilson encourages readers to reexamine the Bible’s teaching, not simply return to a traditional model for tradition’s sake. He then sets forth an alternative to both the attractional and the traditional models: an explicitly biblical approach that is gospel focused, grace based, and fruit oriented.
What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
Christians today define mission more broadly and variably than ever before. Are we, as the body of Christ, headed in the same direction or are we on divergent missions?
Some argue that the mission of the Church is to confront injustice and alleviate suffering, doing more to express God’s love for the world. Others are concerned that the church is in danger of losing its God-centeredness and thereby emphasize the proclamation of the gospel. It appears as though misunderstanding of mission persists.
Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert believe there is a lot that evangelicals can agree on if only we employ the right categories and build our theology of mission from the same biblical building blocks. Explaining key concepts like kingdom, gospel, and social justice, DeYoung and Gilbert help us to get on the same page—united by a common cause—and launch us forward into the true mission of the church.
The Temple and the Church’s Mission by G.K. Beale
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. . . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man." (Revelation 21:1-3, ESV). In this comprehensive study, a New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, G. K. Beale argues that the Old Testament tabernacle and temples were symbolically designed to point to the end-time reality that God's presence, formerly limited to the Holy of Holies, would be extended throughout the cosmos. Hence, John's vision in Revelation 21 is best understood as picturing the new heavens and earth as the eschatological temple. Beale's stimulating exposition traces the theme of the tabernacle and temple across the Bible's story-line, illuminating many texts and closely-related themes along the way. He shows how the significance and symbolism of the temple can be better understood in the context of ancient Near Eastern assumptions, and offers new insights into the meaning of the temple in both Old and New Testaments. Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
With over 200,000 copies sold, this comprehensive look at the role and function of elders brings all the advantages of shared leadership into focus. Beginning with the four broad categories of eldership (leading, feeding, caring, and protecting), Biblical Eldershipexplores the essential work of elders, their qualifications (including why qualifications are necessary), their relationships with each other, and each of the biblical passages related to eldership. Written for those seeking a clear understanding of the mandate for biblical eldership, this full-length, expository book defines it accurately, practically, and according to Scripture.
The New Testament Deacon by Alexander Strauch
Our heartfelt burden is to help deacons get out of the boardroom and building-maintenance mentality and into the people-serving mentality. Deacons, as the New testament teaches and as some of the sixteenth-century reformers discovered, are to be involved in a compassionate ministry of caring for the poor and needy. The deacons' ministry, therefore, is one that no Christ-centered, New Testament church can afford to neglect. It's through the deacons' ministry that we make Christ's love a reality for many people. A ground-breaking study of all the biblical texts on the subject, The New Testament Deacon: Minister of Mercy will help you build a strong ministry in your church. This book and its companion work The New Testament Deacon Study Guide, are widely used materials for training and equipping deacons.
Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anyabwile
Every church leader knows the qualifications for elders and deacons that are spelled out in the Bible, but actually finding other leaders who fulfill the biblical qualifications can be difficult.
Thabiti Anyabwile writes from his expertise as a pastor and elder, showing how to identify and reproduce legitimate leaders and willing servants throughout the ranks of the local church. Balancing thoughtful analysis of pertinent passages with thorough application for practical use in a contemporary context, Anyabwile answers the questions, “Who should we look for to lead and serve in the church?” and “What should they do to fulfill their calling?”
Jeramie Rinne by Church Elders
What does effective church leadership look like?
In this conversational book, pastor Jeramie Rinne sets forth an easy-to-understand “job description” for elders drawn from the Bible’s teaching on church leadership.
Offering practical guidance for new elders and helping church members better understand and support their spiritual leaders, this succinct volume will encourage elders to embrace their calling with grace, wisdom, and clarity of vision.
Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman
Why should you join a church?
Becoming a member of a church is an important, and often neglected, part of the Christian life. Yet the trend these days is one of shunning the practice of organized religion and showing a distaste or fear of commitment, especially of institutions.
Jonathan Leeman addresses these issues with a straightforward explanation of what church membership is and why it’s important. Giving the local church its proper due, Leeman has built a compelling case for committing to the local body.
Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman
Church discipline is essential to building a healthy church. So how exactly do we practice church discipline?
Jonathan Leeman helps us face the endless variety of circumstances and sins for which no scriptural case study exists, sins that don’t show up on any list and need a biblical framework to be corrected appropriately in love.
Here is a contemporary and concise how-to guide that provides a theological framework for understanding and implementing disciplinary measures in the local church, along with several examples of real-life situations and the corresponding responses.
The Transforming Community by Mark Lauterbach
Jesus, in his ministry, received the empty, the broken, the lost and the diseased. Mark Lauterbach shows how compassion, mediated through a functioning body of believers, provides the answers to human waywardness and maintains the integrity of the church.
Although this is a book about church discipline, it is really about a spirit-empowered community. Mark uses real situations from his experience to help us turn principles into practice.
The Lord's Supper by Thomas Schreiner
"As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take and eat it; this is My body.’" -Matthew 26:26 (HCSB)
A follow-up to Believer’s Baptism in the New American Commentary Studies in Bible & Theology series, The Lord’s Supper explores the current Baptist view of the communion sacrament. Contributors include Andreas Köstenberger ("The Lord’s Supper as a Passover Meal"), Jonathan Pennington ("The Last Supper in the Gospels"), Jim Hamilton ("The Lord’s Supper in Paul"), and Michael Haykin ("Communion in the Early Church"). Adding a helpful perspective, chapters are also provided on the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwinglian views of communion.
Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper by John H. Armstrong (Editor), Paul E. Engle (Series Editor)
Who should participate in the Lord’s Supper? How frequently should we observe it? What does this meal mean? What happens when we eat the bread and drink from the cup? What do Christians disagree about and what do they hold in common? These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.This new volume in the Counterpoints: Church Life series allows four contributors to make a case for the following views:• Baptist view (memorialism)• Reformed view (spiritual presence)• Lutheran view (consubstantiation)• Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation)All contributors use Scripture to present their views, and each responds to the others’ essays. This book helps readers arrive at their own conclusions. It includes resources such as a listing of statements on the Lord’s Supper from creeds and confessions, quotations from noted Christians, a resource listing of books on the Lord’s Supper, and discussion questions for each chapter to facilitate small group and classroom use.
Believer's Baptism by Thomas Schreiner
Is believer’s baptism the clear teaching of the New Testament Scriptures? What are the historical and theological challenges to believer’s baptism? What are the practical applications for believer’s baptism today? Volume two in the NEW AMERICAN COMMENTARY STUDIES IN BIBLE & THEOLOGY (NACSBT) series for pastors, advanced Bible students, and other deeply committed laypersons addresses these compelling questions.
Indeed, Believer’s Baptism begins with the belief that believer’s baptism (as opposed to infant baptism or other faith proclaiming methods) is the clear teaching of the New Testament. Along the way, the argument is supported by written contributions from Andreas Kostenberger, Robert Stein, Thomas Schreiner, Stephen Wellum, Steve McKinion, Jonathan Rainbow, Shawn Wright, and Mark Dever.
Users will find this an excellent extension of the long-respected NEW AMERICAN COMMENTARY.
Understanding Four Views on Baptism by John H. Armstrong (Editor), Paul E. Engle (Series Editor)
What is the significance of water baptism? Who should be baptized? Is infant baptism scriptural? Which is the proper baptismal mode: sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Should people be rebaptized if they join a church that teaches a different form of baptism? Should baptism be required for church membership? These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.Four historic views on baptism are considered in depth:• Baptism of the professing regenerate by immersion (Baptist)• Believers’ baptism on the occasion of regeneration by immersion (Christian Churches/Churches of Christ)• Infant baptism by sprinkling as a regenerative act (Lutheran)• Infant baptism of children of the covenant (Reformed)Each view is presented by its proponent, then critiqued and defended in dialogue with the book’s other contributors. Here is an ideal setting in which you can consider the strengths and weaknesses of each stance and arrive at your own informed conclusion.