[ 1 minutes to read ]
A good, concise treatment of the polity or organizational structure of the local church. I appreciate Dever’s approach to this subject that it is not left to personal preference or creativity to order the church, but that we must search and submit to the Scriptures in all things as supremely authoritative and finally sufficient. Though Dever does bring some different references in history to bear, he exhorts that we not look to history but to the Bible.
He undertakes to present a simple, biblical view of deacons, elders, congregationalism, and church membership. He looks at the pieces while keeping the whole in view. He justifies his title and consummates his argument by showing that the local church is to display God’s glory and the biblical order is a reflection of the nature of God.
I am a local-church Baptist and so there are places where I am more apt to rally around and some where I can’t scotch. Overall I found the brief book refreshing and am thankful for these issues to be seriously considered. The order of the local church is not just a polemical issue for some cantankerous, nineteenth century Baptists in America. It is an extremely important issue from the time Jesus founded His first church as part of His work on earth before His death. A part of His final revelatory words to us are letters to seven of His churches that had been planted through the commission He gave to the first one.
I recommend reading this book carefully and thoughtfully. These are not trendy topics today and too few treat them with the seriousness they deserve.