"The great strength of this short book is the rare combination of theological reflection with practical advice. There are many books that offer one or the other; rareis the volume that thinks deeply about Scripture and theology, yet works out the'cash value' in the “how to” dimensions of ministry."
- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"By the grace of God, Mark Dever is working tirelessly to build a thriving, Godcentered, Bible-teaching, Gospel-driven church on Capitol Hill. The Deliberate Church shares many of the ministry lessons that Dr. Dever and his colleagues havelearned from Scripture and sought to implement in the life of their church community. This book is for anyone who wants to get serious about following the biblical pattern for the church and is looking for down-to-earth practical help."
- Philip Graham Ryken, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; Council Member, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
"Rare indeed are books on the church that begin with the Gospel. Rarer still arebooks that derive methodology for building the church from the Gospel. Thisexcellent book does both. And both are evident in the personal example and pastoral ministry of Mark Dever. This book is a gift to all pastors and is must reading for all pastors."
- C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries
"Here is a novel idea: use the Bible as a handbook to gather and guide the church!And The Deliberate Church is a novel volume indeed, standing amid the spate of“church-as-corporation, pastor-as-CEO” manuals which glut church life. Here isa book which wafts a radical, refreshing breeze from the pages of Scripture whichwill breathe life into the church. A crucial read."
- R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor, College Church in Wheaton (IL)
"Mark Dever is a faithful, wise, biblical pastor who for years now has been helping other pastors to be more faithful to the Bible in the pattern of local church lifeand ministry. The Deliberate Church is yet another gift from his ministry to all ofus who want the local church to be reformed according to Scripture. This bookis the perfect example of what a truly practical book on church health and growthshould be—it gives concrete guidance for and examples of biblical principles beingput into practice in the life and ministry of the local congregation. In this era ofmassive cultural changes the church’s witness hangs in the balance. It will be thosecongregations most different from the world and most shaped by the Word thatwill be most strategic as beacons of Gospel truth in the coming post-Christendomera. This book will help the leaders of the local church vigorously rethink whatwe do and why we do it, in light of the Bible’s teaching."
- J. Ligon Duncan III, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
"The church of Jesus Christ is now confronted with a confusing array of consultants, advisors, and analysts—all ready to dispense the latest managerial advice.How is the church to regain its bearings in the midst of such clutter? Along comesMark Dever with The Deliberate Church—and it’s about time! Here is one of themost faithful and insightful pastors of our time, addressing the most crucial issuesof church life. Mark Dever refuses to separate theology and congregational life,combining pastoral insight with clear biblical teaching. This book is a powerfulantidote to the merely pragmatic approaches of our day—and a refutation tothose who argue that theology just isn’t practical."
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"As both a long-time pastor and current seminary president, I want to say simplyand clearly: I love this book! I want to give it to all the pastors-in-training in ourMasters of Divinity program, all our graduates now serving around the world, allthe church workers in our denomination, and all my friends who love and servethe 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 thefeel of Luther’s Tischreden (Table Talks); i.e., it is a young pastor-scholar(Alexander) listening to an experienced pastor-scholar (Dever) about the churchand recording that conversation. This talk begins where it simply must begin forthose committed to the authority of Scripture: namely, God telling us what Heintended His church to be. Only when we have listened to that do we learn fromDever and Alexander about what the church should do. (Prayerfully, what ourchurches do will be directed by what our Father says we are!) And only then dowe arrive where so many evangelical churches want to begin—thinking abouthow we organize our activity. Dever and Alexander guide us in a very practicalway 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 myongoing love for the church. The book has rekindled my passion to serve a churchin which the Gospel is central. It has recreated a longing for "a church that is anincreasingly clear display of God’s wisdom and glory to the heavenly powers andto the surrounding community."
- Greg Waybright, President, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"Mark Dever is deeply concerned about the health of the church. His life and ministry have been devoted to the task of leading a healthy congregation for the gloryof God. In The Deliberate Church Dr. Dever and Paul Alexander lead us into thepractical application of the biblical principles Mark Dever has advocated foryears. Read this book to discover the biblical basis of and key approaches to leading your congregation to become the church God intended her to be."
- Thom S. Rainer, Dean, The Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Mark Dever has given as much intentional, disciplined, biblical thought to theissues confronting the church in the twenty-first century as any of her caretakers.This present work is the latest of a series of publications in which he has established a thoughtfully tested theological matrix for ecclesiology. He prompts thereader through well-placed questions to consider the authority for church structure, the character of the church, its form, its worship, its ordinances, its proclamation, its officers and their qualifications, the manner in which it conducts itsproper business, and its outreach. His approach guides us to practical implementation of those things necessary for lively, God-honoring, Christ-centered, biblically faithful church life."
- Tom J. Nettles, Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"The strength of The Deliberate Church lies in its combination of biblical fidelityand unapologetic practicality. We can be appropriately wary of all the how-tomanuals out there, but practical help is needed and this book delivers it—biblically derived, carefully considered, faithfully tested practical help. It provides thishelp through both thorough coverage of the essentials of building a healthy churchand the introduction of very useful categories—things like evangelistic expositionand reverse membership interviews. Ours is a haphazard age and as a result thereis a crying need in the local church for a solidly biblical intentionality. TheDeliberate Church will be a great help in meeting that need."
- Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, Crossway Community Church, Kenosha, WI