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The 9 Marks Set (14 Volumes)

The 9 Marks Set (14 Volumes)

IX Marks

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Publisher's Description

9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches. To that end, we want to see churches characterized by these nine marks of health. This 14-volume set explores and expounds the nine marks of a healthy church that Mark Dever outlined in his widely recognized work Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.

Titles Included in This Set


What Is a Healthy Church Member?

by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Sample | Find Out More

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons

by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Sample | Find Out More

Life of God in the Soul of the Church

by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Sample | Find Out More

What Does God Want of Us Anyway?

by Mark Dever

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It Is Well

by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence

Sample | Find Out More

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

by Mark Dever

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Deliberate Church

by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander

Sample | Find Out More

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism

by Mark Dever

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What Is a Healthy Church?

by Mark Dever

Sample | Find Out More

What Is the Gospel?

by Greg Gilbert

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Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

by Michael Lawrence

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The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love

by Jonathan Leeman

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Church Planting Is for Wimps

by Mike McKinley

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Am I Really a Christian?

by Mike McKinley

Sample | Find Out More

About 9Marks

9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God's glory to the nations through healthy churches. To find out more, visit 9Marks.org

Book Details

14 Volumes | 2698 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers

What Is A Healthy Church Member

"Some books are so simple they are scarcely worth skimming; others are so complex that unless their subject matter is extraordinarily important, they are not worth the time they demand. But sometimes one finds a book that is simultaneously simple and profound—and this is one of them. In a generation when many people are talking about the importance of Christians living "in community," few have unpacked, in biblically faithful and personally penetrating ways, just what that means. Thabiti Anyabwile closes the gap. Read it, think about it, pray over it—and distribute it generously around your congregation."
- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This book provides an excellent and much-needed focus on the individual church member. We can all benefit from this insightful book."
- R. C. Sproul, Chairman and President, Ligonier Ministries; Senior Minister of Preaching and Teaching, Saint Andrews Chapel, Sanford, Florida

"Thabiti Anyabwile has filled a great void in contemporary Christian literature. Books on how to be a faithful pastor or church leader are common, but it is rare to find a book that speaks so directly about being a faithful church member. With a wealth of biblical insight and practical instruction, Anyabwile calls Christians to do more than just attend church, but to be the kind of faithful, engaged church members that God intends. Given the state of so many of our churches today, this book arrives not a moment too soon."
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, KY

"Any church desiring to strengthen its membership would do well to get this book into the hands of its members. Being a faithful church member in an age of overindulgence and selfish impulses is not easy. Yet, Thabiti not only reminds us it is possible, but he also challenges us with the biblical reality that it is necessary. I continue to thank God for the mind and heart of Thabiti Anyabwile."
- Anthony J. Carter, Pastor; author; editor, Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church.

"Thabiti Anyabwile's book asks the right questions about the offer of church membership, calling each local body of believers to cultivate and sustain practices of an assembly formed by the gospel. It is a most practical manual, yet it is free from the religious utilitarianism that often marks seeker-oriented works in this genre. Any leadership and laity that would elect to read this book together and embrace its exhortations would find their life as the family of God to be increasing in its wisdom, power, love, and witness in the world. What a balm we all will find in the words of this book!"
- Eric C. Redmond, Senior Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Temple Hills, MD

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons

“As a pastor, I think regularly about what kind of leadership our congregation will have after I am with the Lord and occupied with other things. The challenges of generational transition in church leadership are among the greatest challenges a church will ever face. With that in mind, I welcome Thabiti Anyabwile’s fine contribution to this necessary discussion. Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons promises to be a great help indeed.”
- Douglas Wilson, Fellow of Philosophy and Classic Languages, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, ID

“Choosing men who will lead your church is serious work. I commend this valuable resource to you from my friend and partner in the gospel, Thabiti Anyabwile. It is both thoughtful and practical. His insights in this book will help you recruit, enlist, and reproduce faithful leaders in your church.”
- James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word

“Out of an obvious love for the local church, Pastor Thabiti takes biblical leadership very seriously. He takes it so seriously that he has written a book designed to be both biblical and accessible to the people of the church—clearly explaining the Bible’s teaching on the qualifications for leadership and so much more. After a careful exposition of every leadership qualification, he includes a list of helpful questions for the aspiring leader to ask one’s self and for those who will be interviewing such aspiring leaders. Thank you, Thabiti, for helping me to reflect more deeply on my calling as an elder and in my effort to raise up God-glorifying and people-loving leaders in Christ’s church for the next generation!”
- Tom Steller, Pastor for Leadership Development, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN; Dean, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“How do we identify, pick, and train the leaders we so desperately need? Pastor Thabiti has written a very practical and theologically faithful book that addresses this critical issue, leaving no stone left unturned. Thabiti’s questions on each and every quality are some of the best I have seen. It is the kind of book you will want to keep on hand and refer to as you consider potential deacons and elders for the ministry. The book is down to earth, relevant, and very thought provoking.”
- Dave Kraft, pastor, Mars Hill Church; author, Leaders Who Last

“This is a great book. On the surface, it’s an extended meditation on the biblical qualities of elders and deacons that causes you to think carefully about what God intends for his leaders. What should churches look for? Are you that kind of person? But underneath, it’s a radical reorientation of what leadership in the church is. Church leadership does not depend on academic or professional success, but on godliness. This book will help change the way church members and leaders think of leadership, what we value, what we cultivate. Leaders and members both will benefit.”
- Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; author, Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love and Reverberation

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons offers the sort of meditations from the Pastoral Epistles that would-be elders and deacons-in-training need. Yet, pastors and laymen alike will find these chapters to be insightful and poignant, for they are faithful to Scripture, culturally contextualized, and able to be implemented immediately. I am encouraged to think that there are thousands of well-meaning churches peddling along with mediocre religious practice that could be transformed into vibrant, Christ-pleasing, soul-winning, community-transforming churches if the officers of their congregations would humbly embrace the simple exhortations of this gracious work.”
- Eric C. Redmond, Senior Pastor, Reformation Alive Baptist Church, Temple Hills, MD

“Thabiti Anyabwile’s book has been a great reminder to me of the basics that can easily be forgotten in the race for ecclesiastical progress—namely, that we need faithful elders and deacons. Although this book is meant to help those looking for church officers to know what to look for, I found the questions to be a good tonic to my soul and a mirror exposing the areas in which I need to shape up as a church pastor.”
- Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia; author, Foundations for the Flock

“As a member of a pastoral team that is always at some point in the process of identifying, developing, and affirming elders and deacons, I welcome this very helpful book by Thabiti Anyabwile. Right from the start, with the simple clarity and conviction of the opening sentences, this book is marked by sound biblical teaching. The consistent transition into the practical counsel at the end of each chapter, however, is where this book really proves its worth. Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons will be a most useful primer for all those who are committed to doing church leadership by the Bible.”
- Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, Crossway Community Church, Bristol, WI

Life of God in the Soul of the Church

"Building on what Christ has accomplished for us, this apostolic view of sanctification fleshes out what it means also for Christ to be formed in us, as we are conformed to his image. For anyone who doubts the practical relevance of good theology, this book will be a turning point."
- Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

"There can be no healthy church apart from true biblical fellowship; there can be no true biblical fellowship apart from the gospel. In this powerful book Thabiti Anyabwile draws these two together, anchoring the life of the church in the message of the church".
- Tim Challies, Blogger at challies.com

"In this new book, this gifted pastor takes us right into the heart of the New Testament Christianity and the very nature of the Church, demonstrating the fellowship that is one of the signs of the gospel—both to the church itself and to the watching world.
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

"It is both rooted in the exposition of God's Word and full of practical wisdom. I pray that God will use it to encourage many Christians to pursue the fullness of 'the life of God in soul of the church."
- Tim Chester, Pastor, The Crowded House, Sheffield; Director, The Porterbrook Seminary

"Picking up where Henry Scougal left off, Thabiti reminds us that the life of God, which is in the soul of man, is consequently and necessarily also in the soul of the church. In other words, union with Christ is not just an individual truth, it is also a corporate, covenantal possession as well. Thabiti leads us through several texts that confronts and comforts us with this truth. This is a much appreciated addition to our understanding of Christ-centered church life."
- Anthony Carter, Lead Pastor, East Point Church, East Point, GA

What Does God Want of Us Anyway?

"Mark Dever is an able and sure guide to the message of the Bible, which tells us what God wants of us all. The reader of this book is in reliable hands because the author depends not on himself but on the Word of God to answer life's greatest questions. We cannot live lives that please God unless we know what God has said about himself and about us. This book will help you to know God through knowing his Son revealed in his Word."
- Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman; author, What Is a Healthy Church Member?

"In this fantastic little book, Dever shows us what it means to say that Jesus Christ is the point of the Bible. He offers us a breathtaking, panoramic view of Scripture. Since the message of the Bible is so important, and since Dever has captured that message so succinctly, I'll give this book away again and again—both to Christians eager to get a sense of the whole and to seekers wondering just what the Bible is all about."
- Aaron Menikoff, Senior Pastor, Mount Vernon Bible Church, Sandy Springs, GA

"The Bible's size and complexity can overwhelm many new readers. Mark Dever's friendly overview both provides a map to its complexity and downsizes its message to the heart of the matter—what is the passion of God's heart? Keep a bunch of these at your church for giving to anyone unfamiliar with the grand narrative of God's word."
- Matt Schmucker, Executive Director, 9Marks; elder, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC

"Pastor Mark Dever has provided a most unusual book. Instead of teaching his people the usual lessons from the Bible, Dever has taught his people about the Bible so that they can read it effectively for themselves, which is a great idea."
- Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

It Is Well

"Dever and Lawrence remind us that at the heart of Christianity is Christ, and the heart of Christ's ministry is the cross, and the heart of the cross is penal substitution. Nor is penal substitution limited to part of the canon. Both in the OT and the NT forgiveness of sins comes only through substitution. The OT anticipates the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, the Gospels relate the story of his sacrifice, and the Epistles explicate what Christ has accomplished for his people. What a joy to have the truth of Christ’s work for us set forth in sermons, for we see clearly that Christ’s atoning work is no abstraction. Dever and Lawrence in these well-crafted sermons both instruct us in God’s Word and apply it powerfully to the lives of both believers and unbelievers."
- Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"In many churches, the cross is sung more forcefully than it is preached. Some of the most moving and memory-shaping hymns and songs of the faith are also the bloodiest, those that remind us that we were purchased with blood. Sadly, for many, the power of the atonement seems simply to be lyrics, left unconsidered for most of life. This book, by faithful preachers Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence, calls us to preach and teach and pray the curse-absorbing substitutionary atonement as emphatically as we sing it. As you see the glory of Christ crucified in these sermons, you will want to sing, and to preach, and to praise the Messiah who stood in our place on Skull Hill."
- Russell D. Moore, Dean, School of Theology; Senior Vice President for Academic Administration; Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book is brimming with insights into the text as well as with clear and direct application. A refreshing contrast to the great number of low-calorie atonement books on the market."
- Simon Gathercole, Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Cambridge University; Editor, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"Theological and devotional, expositional and inspirational: these are four words that well capture this excellent work on the doctrine of penal substitution. Thank you, Mark and Michael, for this gift to the church of the Lord Jesus. Read it and be instructed. Read it and be blessed."
- Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Dever and Lawrence remind you of the supreme splendor of the cross. With homiletical wisdom, exegetical skill, and pastoral zeal, they will draw your mind’s attention and heart’s affection to the majesty of Christ in the atonement. In the process, you will not only be exposed to exemplary sermons on this extremely important doctrine, but you will also be overwhelmed by the breathtaking glory of the one who has satisfied the wrath of God by substituting himself in our place. All praise be to God for this indescribably wonderful reality and all thanks be to him for this immensely helpful book."
- David Platt, Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama

"We need a clarion call to bring us back to the hard-won doctrines that the Reformers died to establish. Dever and Lawrence have masterfully traced the thread of one of the most significant of these truths through the Old and New Testaments. They argue that the sacrificial atonement is not merely an image, theory, or perspective; it is the very foundation of how God brought about salvation. To comprehend the gospel fully, we must understand this work of Christ. It is Well should be required reading for every pastor and will deepen any Christian’s awareness of Christ’s work on the cross. I encourage you to read and reread this book and cling tightly to what it says."
- Dennis Newkirk, Senior Pastor, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Edmond, Oklahoma

"Dever and Lawrence take a topic that is intimidating to many—substitutionary atonement—and make it practical to both the scholar and the common man. Rich in exposition and application, they point us to God’s sacrifice for us in Jesus, and why, because of it, we can never be the same."
- Matt Carter, Lead Pastor, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas

"In a day when questions about retributive justice and penal substitution are being raised within evangelicalism, Dever and Lawrence serve us well by leading us to meditate upon the texts of the Old and New Testaments, which have shaped the church’s understanding of the atonement. They remind us that though the Bible uses various images to help us understand the work of Christ on the cross, penal substitution is the reality upon which all other images of the atonement stand. Yet this book is no mere apologetic; it is a welcome exhortation to make the cross of Christ central to all of life. I pray that the meditations contained herein will be widely read and would move Christ’s church once again to know nothing among us except Jesus Christ and him crucified."
- Juan R. Sanchez Jr., Preaching Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas

"The theological glue that holds the gospel facts together is the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Yet no concept is more unique and audacious to the Christian faith than that of a crucified Messiah and Savior. Regrettably, for too long this has been the subject of academia more than the church, until now. Through fourteen expositions that cover redemptive history, Dever and Lawrence have provided an extensive, simple, and practical guide to grasping this subject without compromising its complexity. This study is more than important to understand; it is imperative. Few books have fueled my worship of the Savior like this one. Read it and expect to find yourself on your knees in wonder at the gospel."
- Rick Holland, Executive Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; Director, Resolved Conference

"Like the sound of a trumpet resonating from castle walls, so has the call to worship sounded forth from the local church of Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence and their expositions on the atonement. This work is sure to humble the reader in the reality of the work of Christ on behalf of sinners and liberate the forgiven with the promise that ‘it is finished.’"
- Eric Bancroft, Senior Pastor, Castleview Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

“It is astonishing that the apostle Paul describes the local gathering of Christians as ‘the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood’ (Acts 20:28, ESV). That raises the stakes of church life and health and mission about as high as it can be. We are dealing with a blood-bought body of people. I do not want human ideas. I want God’s word about the church. I turn with hope and confidence to Mark Dever’s radically biblical commitment. Few people today have thought more or better about what makes a church biblical and healthy. I thank God for the book and for 9Marks ministries.”
- John Piper, Founder, Desiring God Ministries; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary

“Books on the church are a dime a dozen. This one is different. Only rarely does a book on the church come along that marries responsible biblical and theological reflection to godly, experienced, good judgment and practical application. This book is one of them. If you are a Christian leader, be careful of the work you are now holding in your hand: it may change your life and ministry.”
- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“In a day when a church is most likely evaluated on her cosmetics, it’s vital to know how to assess her true health. They put cosmetics on corpses! Mark Dever gives the biblical criteria for discerning the spiritual well-being of a church, not what it looks like on the outside before the world, but what it is on the inside before God. This is a foundational work which I highly recommend.”
- John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA

“Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is one of the very best, most readable, and useful books for learning how to lead a church into spiritual change. Its focus is not on church growth but on church health, which is the proper goal of a God- centered ministry. Each chapter gives the biblical rationale and oðers practical suggestions for preaching, evangelism, discipleship, or some other aspect of church life. These principles and practices have been tested in Dever’s own dynamic ministry as senior pastor of a thriving urban congregation.”
- Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

“Postmodern America is awash with spirituality—but not with authentic Christianity. Clear evidence of this fact is seen in the loss of a biblical ecclesiology in so many sectors. Reformation is always directed to the church—and we must pray to see the church reformed in our age. Mark Dever points toward a truly biblical recovery of the New Testament church in his manifesto, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Every page is loaded with thoughtful analysis and careful consideration. It belongs in the hands of every faithful pastor and all those who pray for reformation in this age.“
- R. Albert Mohler, President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The future of biblical Christianity in the Western world is inextricably bound to the future of the local church. Mark Dever knows this, and his Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is a biblical prescription for faithfulness.”
- J. Ligon Duncan, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS

“Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is required reading for my students in ecclesiology. Even though I do not always come to the same conclusions as the author, the book is one of the few recent serious engagements with trenchantly important ecclesiological issues. This is also a great book for pastors to share with their congregations.”
- Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“A powerful and passionate call for congregations to take seriously their re- sponsibilities, for the glory of God and the saving of lost souls.”
- Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

“In the tradition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Stott, Mark Dever calls the church to rediscover her biblical heritage. Perhaps never in history has the church tried so hard to be relevant to a culture and become less relevant in doing so! While many modern church gurus encourage us to be ‘in the world,’ Mark reminds us that our calling is to do so without being ‘of the world.’ This volume is consumed with church ‘being’ rather than church ‘doing.’ After all, being comes before doing, for what we ultimately ‘do’ is always determined by who we ‘are.’ Let the church be the church! Read it and reap!”
- O. S. Hawkins, President, Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

“For a young pastor wrestling with questions of what success and faithfulness look like for a church, Mark Dever’s book is a godsend. It helps you see past the hype and fanfare of numbers, statistics, and the latest methodology. Instead it guides you back to the old paths and the simple, world-changing beauty of God’s plan for the local church.”
- Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, MD; author, Dug Down Deep

“Books that arm the priority of the church are rare. Books that define the practice of the local church (om the pages of Scripture rather than (om cultural trends are even more rare. Mark Dever has given us just such a book. Written by a pastor and theologian who has built a strong local church in Washington, DC, this is the best book I have read on this topic of critical importance.”
- C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

Deliberate Church

"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

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism

"Mark Dever’s personal devotion to Scripture has led him to think deeply, read widely, preach clearly, and write simply to the great blessing of the body of Christ. Evangelism is the church’s mandate, and the one reason the redeemed are still on earth. Doing it effectively requires doing it biblically. Mark teaches us how to mobilize our churches to do just that."
- John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California

"For most of us, personal evangelism is the reverse of easy, and so it becomes a task we evade. Mark Dever writes to shake us up about this, clearing our heads as to just what evangelizing involves and motivating our hearts to go to it realistically and responsibly. This is a word in season that will surely do a great deal of good."
- J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College

"Mark Dever has done every Christian and pastor a tremendous favor. With great humility, Dever helps us to connect the dots of our hopes for seeing people saved with the truth about the gospel and evangelism itself. This little book searches our hearts, corrects our thinking, calls us to faithfulness, and encourages us with practical examples and exhortations."
- - Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman; author, The Faithful Preacher

"At the heart of this book is a heart for the gospel. Mark Dever encourages, instructs, and challenges us to proclaim the gospel in all its fullness, grace, truth, goodness, and wonder."
- Randy Newman, author, Questioning Evangelism and Corner Conversations

What Is a Healthy Church?

What is a Healthy Church? is a valuable little book and one I hope is widely distributed and widely read. Churches that truly seek to be healthy should be glad to distribute this among its members and to discuss it...Those who truly desire church health have nothing to fear from it, and certainly a lot to gain.”
Tim Challies, challies.com

What Is the Gospel?

"This book will sharpen the thinking of not a few mature Christians. More importantly, it is a book to distribute widely to church leaders, young Christians, and even some who have not yet trusted Christ who want a clear explanation of what the gospel is. Read it, then buy a box of them for generous distribution."
- D.A. Carson (from the foreword), Research Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Greg Gilbert is one of the brightest and most faithful young men called to serve the church today. Here he offers us a penetrating, faithful, and fully biblical understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no greater need than to know the true gospel, to recognize the counterfeits, and to set loose a generation of gospel-centered Christians. This very important book arrives at just the right moment."
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Two realities make this a critically important book: the centrality of the gospel in all generations and the confusion about the gospel is in our own generation. What Is the Gospel? provides a biblically faithful explanation of the gospel and equips Christians to discern deviations from that glorious message. How I wish I could place this book in the hands of every pastor and church member."
- C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

"Greg Gilbert contends that the current evangelical understanding of the gospel is lost in a fog of confusion. He burns away that fog by shining fresh light on an old subject. Gilbert writes in a clear, concise, and colloquial style that will especially appeal to young adults. What Is the Gospel? will sharpen your thinking about the gospel, etching it more deeply on your heart so you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with boldness. It will leave you pondering the extent to which the gospel has impacted your own life. It will cause you to cry out with thankfulness to God for what Christ has accomplished."
- James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word

"A wonderful telling of the old, old story in fresh words—and with sound warnings against subtle misrepresentations. As the old gospel song attests, and as is true of Greg Gilbert’s fine book, those who know the old, old story best will find themselves hungering and thirsting to hear this story like the rest."
- Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert is someone I have had the honor and privilege of teaching and who is now teaching me. This little book on the gospel is one of the clearest and most important books I’ve read in recent years."
- Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

"For good reason, Christians love the word gospel. Tragically, however, multitudes of Christians fail to grasp what the gospel fully is. In doctrinally sound and down-to-earth ways, my good friend Greg Gilbert shows just how important it is to understand both the theological nature and the functional necessity of the gospel. We can only hope and pray that this is the first of many books from Greg."
- Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different

"What Is the Gospel? This short but powerful book answers that question with a clear and concise presentation. It is a superb treatment of the good news. Read it and then pass it on."
- Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Greg Gilbert, with a sharp mind and a pastor’s heart, has written a book that will be helpful for seekers, new Christians, and anyone who wants to understand the gospel with greater clarity. I’ve been waiting for a book like this! As a sure-footed guide to a surprisingly controversial subject, it clears up misconceptions about the gospel, the kingdom, and the meaning of the cross."
- Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI

"What Is the Gospel? demonstrates in a sensitive and intriguing way that the gospel is indescribably profound as well as eminently describable—clear enough for anyone to comprehend."
- Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"There is no greater challenge in an age of doubt and pragmatism than making the glorious gospel clear. This is the greatest need for the seasoned Christian and skeptic alike. In this thoughtful but accessible work, Greg Gilbert clearly answers the most important question ever asked."
- Darrin Patrick, Founding Pastor of The Journey Church, St Louis, MO

"Greg Gilbert cuts through the confusion by searching Scripture to answer the most important question anyone can ask. Even if you think you know the good news of what God has done in Christ, Gilbert will sharpen your focus on this glorious gospel."
- Collin Hansen, editor at large, Christianity Today

"This book will help you better understand, treasure, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you think you know enough about the gospel already, you might need it more than you think."
- Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, MD

"Amidst a contemporary Christian culture characterized by rampant confusion regarding the central tenets of our faith, Greg Gilbert has given us a portrait of the gospel that is clear for those who have believed and compelling for those who have yet to believe. Word-saturated, cross-centered, and God-exalting, What Is the Gospel? will capture your mind’s attention and ignite your heart’s affection for the God who saves us by his grace through his gospel for his glory."
- David Platt, Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL

"Greg Gilbert has called the church back to the source of her revelation. In a simple and straightforward manner, he has laid bare what the Bible has shown the gospel to mean."
- Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion

"Clarity on the gospel brings both confidence in the gospel and conviction concerning core gospel truths. This excellent book is wonderfully clear and biblically faithful, and will repay reading with renewed gospel focus."
- William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen Bishopsgate, London

"When I think of the centerpiece of my Bible, my heart immediately embraces the gospel. I know many people who love the gospel, but I’m always open to loving it more and understanding it better. Greg Gilbert has written this book to help us to know and love the gospel more."
- Johnny Hunt, President, The Southern Baptist Convention

"What makes this book profound is its simplicity. Perhaps the greatest danger in Christianity is making assumptions about what the gospel is without hearing the Bible’s clear and definitive voice. It is not an overstatement to say this may be the most important book you’ll read about the Christian faith."
- Rick Holland, Executive Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA; Director, Resolved Conference

"'Gospel-centeredness' has become the new, vogue term for pastors and churches. Greg Gilbert does a masterful job in this book explaining what that gospel actually is. He shows us that many well-meaning churches have distorted the gospel through false teaching, and others have abandoned the gospel because of embarrassment or simply neglect. This is a profound analysis of the gospel, expressed in a poignant, relevant way. I am very grateful for Greg’s prophetic call to return to the straightforward message of the cross."
- J. D. Greear, Senior Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, NC

Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

"Every thoughtful preacher or teacher of the Bible sooner or later faces questions of the nature of biblical theology, its relationship to doctrine (systematic theology), and the practical application of both to the ministry that edifies the church. Following in the footsteps of Geerhardus Vos and Edmund Clowney, Michael Lawrence has provided us with a masterly study that relates biblical theology to systematics, and then applies both to the ministry of the church. This skillfully executed integrative approach breaks new ground in the practical application of biblical theology. Its thoroughness without being over-technical makes it accessible to anyone who wants to be a better preacher or teacher of the Bible."
- Graeme Goldsworthy, Former (Retired) Lecturer in Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia

"Pastor Lawrence provides a wondefully clear and helpful entrée into biblical theology, so that we see the importance of covenants and canon, prophecy and typology, continuity and discontinuity. Futhermore, we are treated to an illuminating sketch of biblical theology from creation to consummation, where some of the main arteries of the storyline of the Scriptures are explicated. This book is not long, but it is packed with wisdom, and it always has its eye on the usefulness of biblical theology for the church and for pastoral ministry. The last two chapters on biblical theology and preaching and teaching are alone worth the price of the book."
- Thomas R. Schreiner (from the Foreword), Preaching Pastor, Clifton Baptist Church; Professor, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"If the kind of biblical theology described and commended by Michael Lawrence in this superb book were to take root in the preaching and teaching ministry of pastors, and get into the bloodstream of lay people in the churches, things would bode well indeed for the improvement of our collective grasp of and obedience to the whole counsel of God. Lawrence not only does a brilliant job of introducing a sound biblical theology, but also relates it to the ministry of the church. He offers one of the finest and most accessible discussions of the relation between biblical and systematic theology that I’ve ever read. This is a pastoral must-read for our times. I cannot recommend this book too highly."
- J. Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals; Adjunct Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary

"Usually, you have to go to different sections of the bookstore to find good books on biblical theology, systematic theology, ministry, the church, and the Christian life. At the very least, the relationship between theory and practice seems strained. However, this book brings these concerns together. Michael Lawrence believes that good shepherds are theologians and good theologians are shepherds. For anyone who believes that theology needs the church and the church needs theology, this will be a welcome resource. For anyone playing with the idea, it will be a compelling one."
- Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

"Studies on the relationship of theology to ministry seem to be quite rare. In fact, some books designed as ‘guides for ministry’ often portray suspicion of and hostility toward the theological enterprise. On the other hand, some theologians think that such guides are not worthy of serious attention. What is desperately needed is a work that recognizes the significance of the work of theology for ministry, while simultaneously recognizing the importance of doing theology for the church. Michael Lawrence has brilliantly met this need in this clearly written and compelling volume, which envisions afresh the work of pastor-theologians. I believe that Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church will certainly be one of the most important books for pastors and theologians to read this year."
- David S. Dockery, President, Union University

"I commend both Lawrence's book and the wonderful ministry at Capital Hill Baptist Church, where they are putting this book into practice."
- James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word

"According to the Apostle Paul, one of the central works of pastoral ministry is rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), and it takes diligent study to be able to do it. According to Michael Lawrence, it is also vital to rightly apply the word of truth to the life of a congregation, and to be certain that the application is faithful to the united story of the entire Scripture. In his book Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church, Lawrence skillfully guides his readers in constructing a biblical theology, "the whole story of the whole Bible," and teaches them how to derive lessons from that story. But Lawrence’s heartbeat is the right application of the story and those lessons to the daily life scenarios every minister faces. This work is a succinct, readable manual on the right application of the storyline of the whole Bible to the common issues of daily life which pastors will inevitably face as they minister in the 21st century. It is a valuable addition to the library of any pastor who yearns to see God’s word bear fruit for eternity."
- Andrew Davis, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Durham, NC

"I am grateful that this book has been written. It’s an ambitious book—broad in scope and simultaneously rich in insight. Its biblical, systematic and pastoral theology are presented in a lucid and accessible way, its case studies are pastorally helpful, and its polemics are thought-provoking and penetrating. Michael has done us a great favor by grounding his subject material in the cut and thrust of ordinary pastoral ministry while at the same time stimulating us intellectually. His unshakable commitment to propositional revelation, the centrality of the Bible in church ministry, and his unflinching belief that God works by his Word are a great foil to much theology in vogue in the church today. This book is a bell ringing in the fog of American Christianity—with its extremes of prosperity, market-driven, and emergent theology—that we at the ends of the earth in South Africa have sadly not escaped. It calls us back to the old fashioned, tried and tested practices of exegesis, hermeneutics, and preaching that have fed the Christian church for centuries. May God use it to nourish his church, which often seems undernourished both in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere."
- Grant J. Retief, Rector, Christ Church, Umhlanga, Durban, South Africa

"With biblical illiteracy in the church at an all-time high, faithless and banal preaching the seeming norm, and Christian leaders impressed more by stories of success in the marketplace than the biblical story of redemption, Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church comes as a much needed correction. Michael Lawrence is surely right: One must understand the grand story of Scripture to rightly interpret its constituent parts. When the story is misunderstood or ignored, then Christian preaching and ministry will inevitably suffer. Through definition, explanation, and example, Lawrence has produced a thorough and practical guide to correct biblical interpretation, Spirit-empowered exposition, and faithful ministry."
- Todd L. Miles, Assistant Professor of Theology, Western Seminary, Portland, OR

"Biblical theology is the missing tool for so many pastors— and yet is such an essential tool for rightly handling the Word of God. Michael Lawrence leads us step by step from theological foundations all the way through to real life applications of biblical theology. In other words he shows us how to read and use the Bible rightly on its own terms. He skillfully blends scholarly insight with down-to-earth pastoral awareness and covers a huge amount of ground in the process. This is a great example of theological thinking for the work of ministry. You may not agree with every conclusion he draws but you cannot fail to benefit from interacting with his thinking."
- Graham Beynon, Minister, Avenue Community Church, Leicester, UK

"I am deeply thankful for this important book and pray it will be widely read and greatly influential! There is no greater need in the church than biblically grounded theological discernment that informs everyday life. The perspective and methods of 'doing theology' that Michael Lawrence provides are crucial for developing this distinctively Christian view of life. Ministry methods and foci today are so often determined by pragmatism, consumerism, trends, and the latest opinion polls rather the an holistic understanding of the Bible. Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church points the way out of this man-centered approach and helps equip leaders for God-honoring, gospel-advancing ministry. Lawrence writes with the depth of a careful theologian and the heart and experience of a loving pastor. Here he models what he is wanting to produce with this book—pastor/theologians who understand the whole counsel of God’s word, and are able to translate it into the lives of God’s people for the glory of God."
- Erik Thoennes, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, Biola University; Pastor, Grace Evangelical Free Church, La Mirada, CA

The Church and the Surprising Offense of God's Love

“What happens when you bring together one of the most misunderstood subjects (love) and one of the most ignored practices (church membership and discipline) in the church today? A book like this one. Unlike the generation raised on Mr. Spock's child-rearing advice, the Good Shepherd cares for his flock by loving discipline. There is a lot of talk these days about radical discipleship, but what we need more today is a lot more ordinary discipleship, where we realize not only in theory but in practice what it means to be conformed to Christ's image. This is the best book I've seen on this subject in a long time.”
- Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“It has been a frustrating reality that there are so few resources on church discipline. This book is not only timely, but definitive. I highly recommend it to those who seek to learn about and desire to practice biblical church discipline.”
- Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, MO; author, For the City and Church Planter

Church Planting Is for Wimps

"I love Mike McKinley's writing. Church Planting is For Wimps is an engaging book that weaves together personal story, theological reflection, practical suggestion, and great humor. This is a book that will be of great benefit to pastors who are thinking of giving up on their churches."
- J. D. Greear, Senior Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina

"Mike knows a lot about the ups and downs of church planting, and he writes about it with all the honesty and humor necessary for laboring in God’s grace. There’s no airbrushing of difficulties. And there are no oppressive ‘be wonderful like me’ gimmicks. If you want to think, learn, and laugh all at once, read this book. Whether you’re a church planter, on a church planting team, or an established pastor whose church wants to be more involved in church planting, you’ll find this book a refreshing, grace-filled, hopeful, and useful excursion into the sometimes dizzying world of church planting."
- Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman; author, What Is a Healthy Church Member?

Am I Really a Christian?

“This is a truly important book in the most urgent sense—a book that serves the cause of Christ by raising the most important question human beings face, and helping to answer it, no less. I am thankful to McKinley for his faithfulness and for the pastoral concern that prompted him to write such an important work.”
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“There can be no more important question than ‘Am I really a Christian?’ and Mike McKinley helps us answer it with great skill. He manages to challenge nominal Christians while comforting genuine believers. McKinley’s writing is accessible, engaging, and simple without ever being simplistic. I particularly appreciate the way he encourages us to explore this crucial question in the context of a Christian community. If you’re not sure where you stand before God, or you know someone who’s not sure, then this is the book for you.”
- Tim Chester, Director, The Porterbrook Institute; author, You Can Change and A Meal With Jesus

“Can any question in life be as important as knowing whether you are right with God, whether you are going to Heaven or Hell? I’m quite sure that every person now in eternity—with not a single exception among the billions there—would affirm the urgency and priority of pursuing the answer to such a question. That’s why, if you have any uncertainties about the answer for your own situation, you should read this book. Some day, on a day as real as the one in which you entered the world, as real as the one in which you are reading these words, you will enter another world. There you will remain forever. Are you ready? If not, this book will help you understand how the Bible says to prepare.”
- Donald S. Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, How Can I Be Sure I'm a Christian?

“Simple, piercing, winsome, practical, honest, direct and pastoral. If you know anyone questioning their conversion (or who should be questioning!), get this book!”
- Dave Harvey, Church Care and Church Planting, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author, Rescuing Ambition

“Really, is there anything more important to know about ourselves than whether or not we are actually Christians? People have come up with a lot of different ways of thinking about that question—ranging from your ability to remember ‘praying the prayer,’ to possessing a signed card in your Bible from a revival meeting, to ensuring your ‘letter’ is safely tucked away in some church's filing cabinet. Examining ourselves to make sure we are in the faith is about a whole lot more than that, and McKinley offers good help for that kind of heart evaluation. This is good devotional material, good small group material; And I expect that for some, it will probably even turn out to be the first time they’ve truly understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
- Greg Gilbert, Senior Pastor, Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, KY; author, What Is the Gospel?