Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Review to Peruse:

The beauty about a blog is that you can do whatever you want to do with it. Tomorrow, I'll try to bring you some sort of mildly thoughtful cultural engagement. Today, however, I bring you a bit of material I like to call "shameless self-promotion." So here's the scoop: go to (the man to the right, Matt Schmucker, runs 9Marks and is an awesome man). Check under "What's New" on the left of the homepage, and you'll see a review by me. I reviewed a book called Membership Matters for the site. It's by a Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor named Chuck Lawless. Lawless is a great guy and a thoughtful ecclesiologist (theologian of the church), and my review details some of the strengths and weaknesses of his work.

Here is an excerpt: "The very focus of Membership Matters is excellent. Lawless understands the importance of church membership and makes it his business to advocate for it. From the beginning, he rightly diagnoses the culture of feckless disinterest that surrounds the church. He tenders a clear and compelling argument for its dissimulation. Put concisely, the biblical call to join the church must be heeded for the church if it is to gain health. Far from offering an innovative spin, a new pastoral trick, or a quick-and-easy philosophy, Lawless points church leaders to realize that the Bible already has the solution to stultified church life. It is membership—active, involved, committed membership. In an age when calling for personal investment of most any kind is unpopular, Lawless beckons his fellow evangelicals back to biblical polity in which individuals together esteem the church body through attendance and service. By drawing on the biblical ideal of membership, not the self-spun ideology of pragmatism, Lawless takes a bold stance. His courage and his polity are commendable."

You can check out the whole review at 9Marks or simply re-read the above paragraph for enjoyment.


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