Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline

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Overview

When the world speaks of "love," it often means unconditional acceptance. Many churches have adopted this mind-set in their practice of membership and discipline-if they have not done away with such structures entirely. "Yet God's love and God's gospel are different than what the world expects," writes Jonathan Leeman. They're centered in his character, which draws a clear boundary between what is holy and what is not. It's this line that the local church should represent in its member practices, because the ...

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The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love (Foreword by Mark Dever): Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline

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Overview

When the world speaks of "love," it often means unconditional acceptance. Many churches have adopted this mind-set in their practice of membership and discipline-if they have not done away with such structures entirely. "Yet God's love and God's gospel are different than what the world expects," writes Jonathan Leeman. They're centered in his character, which draws a clear boundary between what is holy and what is not. It's this line that the local church should represent in its member practices, because the careful exercise of such authority "is God's means for guarding the gospel, marking off a people, and thereby defining his love for the world."

So how should churches receive and dismiss members? How should Christians view their submission to the church? Are there dangers in such submission? The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love responds with biblical, theological, and practical guidance-from both corporate and individual perspectives. It's a resource that will help pastors and their congregations upend worldly conceptions and recover a biblical understanding and practice of church authority.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"What happens when you bring together one of the most misunderstood subjects (love) and one of the most ignored practices (church membership and discipline) in the church today? A book like this one. Unlike the generation raised on Mr. Spock's child-rearing advice, the Good Shepherd cares for his flock by loving discipline. There is a lot of talk these days about radical discipleship, but what we need more today is a lot more ordinary discipleship, where we realize not only in theory but in practice what it means to be conformed to Christ's image. This is the best book I've seen on this subject in a long time."
β€”Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life

β€œIt has been a frustrating reality that there are so few resources on church discipline. This book is not only timely, but definitive. I highly recommend it to those who seek to learn about and desire to practice biblical church discipline.”
β€”Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude's Guide to Manhood

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433509056
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 1/8/2010
  • Series: IXMarks Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,440,516
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Leeman (MDiv, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, DC. He serves as director of communications for 9Marks and is the editor of its eJournal. Leeman is the author of The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love and has been published in several major newspapers and Christian periodicals. He is currently a PhD candidate in theology at the University of Wales.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and pastor of 9Marks Ministries. Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Too long, theologically deep, but difficult to apply

    Recognizing that discipline is a lost element of church polity, I was anticipating a more practical how-to related to this topic. Nearly one-third of the book is devoted to deep theological reflections on God's love and authority, but it's so "heady" that few readers will make it through. It's extremely academic and could easily be used in seminary courses. The research and writing are well done, but I'm afraid the small percentage of folks interested in church discipline will not find what they are looking for here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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