The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership and Discipline [IX Marks]
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.
Includes a Foreword by Mark Dever
About the Author
Jonathan Leeman (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington DC, serves as director of communications for 9Marks and is the editor of its eJournal. He has been published in several major newspapers and Christian periodicals and is a PhD candidate in theology at the University of Wales.