What then is a right or biblical polity? The contributors to this volume make an exegetical and theological case for a Baptist polity. Right polity, they argue, is congregationalism, elder leadership, diaconal service, regenerate church membership, church discipline, and a Baptist approach to the ordinances.
Each section explores the pastoral applications of these arguments. How do congregationalism and elder leadership work together? When should a church practice church discipline? How can one church work with another in matters of membership and discipline?
To be read sequentially or used as a reference guide, Baptist Foundations provides a contemporary treatment of Baptist church government and structures, the first of its kind in decades.
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About the Author
Jonathan Leeman (Ph.D., Wales) is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and the editorial director for 9Marks. He edits the 9Marks series of books as well as the 9Marks Journal. He is also the author of several books on the church, including The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love. Jonathan lives with his wife and four daughters in suburban Washington.
John S. Hammett (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of Systematic Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Michael A. G. Haykin is professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Benjamin L. Merkle (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also taught New Testament at Azusa Pacific University and Bethel Theological Seminary. He received a B.S. from Western Oregon University, a M.Div. and Th.M. from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has published a number of articles and book reviews in scholarly journals. His published books include: Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, The Law and Its Fulfillment: A Pauline Theology of Law; Romans; Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, co-edited with H. S. Baldwin and A. Kostenberger; Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, co-edited with B. A. Ware; The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance, co-authored with Ardel Caneday, Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology; New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ. He is also the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is married to Diane Elaine and they have four children: Daniel, Patrick, John, and Anna.
Thomas White is vice president of student services and communications as well as associate professor of Systematic Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Shawn Wright is assistant professor of Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and also serves as one of the pastors at Clifton Baptist Church. Wright and his wife have five sons.
Table of ContentsForeword, James Leo Garrett
Part 1: Congregationalism
1. Some Historical Roots of Congregationalism, Michael Haykin
2. The Biblical and Theological Case for Congregationalism, Stephen Wellum and Kirk Wellum
Part 2: The Ordinances
3. Five Preliminary Issues for Understanding the Ordinances, Shawn Wright
4. Baptism in the Bible, Thomas Schreiner
5. Baptism in History, Theology, and the Church, Shawn Wright
6. The Lord’s Supper in the Bible, Thomas Schreiner
7. The Lord’s Supper in History, Theology, and the Church, Shawn Wright
Part 3: Church Membership and Discipline
8. The Why and Who of Church Membership, John Hammett
9. The What and How of Church Membership, John Hammett
10. The Why, How, and When of Church Discipline, Thomas White
Part 4: Elders and Deacons
11. Elders and Deacons in History, Mark Dever
12. The Scriptural Basis for Elders, Ben Merkle
13. The Biblical Qualifications for Elders, Ben Merkle
14. The Biblical Role of Elders, Ben Merkle
15. Practical Issues in Elder Ministry, Andrew Davis
16. The Biblical Basis, Qualifications, and Role of Deacons, Ben Merkle
17. Practical Issues in Deacon Ministry, Andrew Davis
Part 5: The Church and Churches
18. A Congregational Approach to Unity, Holiness, and Apostolicity, Jonathan Leeman
19. Independence and Interdependence, Jonathan Leeman