Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander: A Review

The purpose of The Deliberate Church is to get churches centered back on the Bible; primarily the Gospel. God’s Word needs to be the central authoritative standard by which all actions of the local church are conducted. Mark Dever, Senior Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. and executive director of the 9Marks Organization, is credited to much of the content of this work. Paul Alexander, who interned under Dever in 2003 and currently serves as an editor for 9Marks, here put his and Dever’s conversations about the church into print. Though slender in size, the role for members and elders in the local church in this work is above all clear. They look at the foundation stones of the church and then move to what constitutes the actual services. The second part focusses on the elders of the church and the elders meetings.

Assessing the member’s roll is a great chapter on how the pastor should seek out individual interviews with each church member. Chapter five, on church discipline, is an excellent reminder of how the leaders should be treating unChrist-like members. There is an admonition for corporate times of music to be just that: corporate. The pastor’s goal for the members should be for them to sing and hear truths about God from each other, instead of their memory falling to one individual or “the band”. The only skimmer chapter is on church paid-staff who aren't elders. This chapter is the least relevant to many churches outside of the slim American mega-church percentage. By far, the primary appeal in this book is for biblical eldership. It is the most helpful advice that any pastor will glean from this book. With much confusion over leadership and church membership this work is an invaluable guide to casting out the false and diluted views of the local church and reverting back to those developed from the Bible. 

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