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

Front Cover
Crossway, 2010 - Religion - 375 pages

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.

What people are saying - Write a review

Recovering Church Membership and Discipline

User Review  - David Gough - Christianbook.com

Rarely do most Christians think of local church membership and discipline from God's perspective. That is because we have become consumers of church rather than participants and contributors. The main ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nisly - LibraryThing

This is an awesome book about the biblical basis for church membership and church discipline! The author explains how we have twisted and redefined God's love into something that is palatable for us, instead of truly understanding that biblically God's love marks boundaries and enforces them. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Jonathan Leeman(PhD, University of Wales) is the editorial director for 9Marks and cohost of the Pastors' Talkpodcast. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books and teaches at several seminaries. Jonathan lives with his wife and four daughters in a suburb of Washington, DC, and is an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church. You can follow him on Twitter at @jonathanleeman.

Mark Dever(PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks (9Marks.org). Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Connie, and they have two adult children.

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