Monday, August 22, 2005

The Deliberate Church

Tim Challies provides a preview.

Last week I linked to some glowing endorsements of the book. Here's another one, from the president of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School:

As both a long-time pastor and current seminary president, I want to say simply and clearly: I love this book! I want to give it to all the pastors-in-training in our Masters of Divinity program, all our graduates now serving around the world, all the church workers in our denomination, and all my friends who love and serve the Church.

This is the most biblically directed and practically helpful discussion of “applied ecclesiology” that I have read. The Deliberate Church has a bit of the feel of Luther’s Tischreden (Table Talks); i.e., it is a young pastor-scholar (Alexander) listening to an experienced pastor-scholar (Dever) about the church and recording that conversation. This talk begins where it simply must begin for those committed to the authority of Scripture: namely, God telling us what He intended His church to be. Only when we have listened to that do we learn from Dever and Alexander about what the church should do. (Prayerfully, what our churches do will be directed by what our Father says we are!) And only then do we arrive where so many evangelical churches want to begin—thinking about how we organize our activity. Dever and Alexander guide us in a very practical way through the implications of the truths of God’s Word about the daily workings of a local church.

My reading of The Deliberate Church has fanned into a greater flame my ongoing love for the church. The book has rekindled my passion to serve a church in which the Gospel is central. It has recreated a longing for “a church that is an increasingly clear display of God’s wisdom and glory to the heavenly powers and to the surrounding community.”


President, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School