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

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Crossway Books, 2010 - Religion - 375 pages
2 Reviews

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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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

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About the author (2010)

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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