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The Church: The Gospel Made Visible

, 2012
ISBN: 9781430072263

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Christians face lots of practical questions when it comes to life in the local church: How is the gospel displayed in our lives together? What are we supposed to do and believe? Different followers answer differently—even as they preach the same gospel! What should we think about such differences?

A church’s life, doctrine, worship, and even polity are important issues. Yet they are so rarely addressed. The Church is Mark Dever’s primer on the doctrine of the church for all who see Scripture alone as a sufficient authority for the doctrine and life of the local church. He explains to the reader what the Bible says about the nature and purpose of the church— what it is, what it’s for, what it does.

Indeed, Scripture teaches us about all of life and doctrine, including how we should assemble for corporate worship and how we’re to organize our corporate life together. God has revealed himself by his Word. He is speak- ing to us, preparing us to represent him today, and to see him tomorrow! A congregation of regenerate members, fulfilling the responsibilities given to us by Christ himself in his Word, regularly meeting together, led by a body of godly elders, is the picture God has given us in his Word of his church.

  • Intends to be a popular primer on the doctrine of the church for all those who see Scripture alone to be sufficient authority for the doctrine and life of the local church
  • Attempts to provide careful instruction to help readers understand and recover faithfulness to God's Word'
  • Seeks to help readers see how Scripture's beautiful sufficiency frees us from the tyranny of mere human opinion

Top Highlights

“As John Stott said, ‘The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history.’6 The church should be regarded as important to Christians because of its importance to Christ. Christ founded the church (Matt 16:18), purchased it with his blood (Acts 20:28), and intimately identifies himself with it (Acts 9:4). The church is the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12, 27; Eph 1:22–23; 4:12; 5:20–30; Col 1:18, 24; 3:15), the dwelling place of his Spirit (1 Cor 3:16–17; Eph 2:18, 22; 4:4), and the chief instrument for glorifying God in the world (Ezek 36:22–38; Eph 3:10). Finally, the church is God’s instrument for bringing both the gospel to the nations and a great host of redeemed humanity to himself (Luke 24:46–48; Rev 5:9).” (Pages x–xi)

“Instead, churches must once again begin measuring success not in terms of numbers but in terms of fidelity to the Scriptures.” (Page xii)

“The church is the body of people called by God’s grace through faith in Christ to glorify him together by serving him in his world.” (Page 3)

“A third major image cluster used for the church is centered around the idea of fellowship” (Page 11)

“At a third level the deacons were appointed to support the ministry of the apostles.” (Page 53)

"Mark Dever has rendered an invaluable service to the Body of Christ in this book. Its biblical grounding is sure, and its theological insights are spot on! Few address the issue of ecclesiology better than this pastor/theologian. This work will help us better understand what the church is and what the church does when it is faithful to Scripture."

Daniel L. Akin, president, Souteastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Mark Dever has taught me more about the church than any other living human being. He's a keen observer and insightful practitioner. In The Church: The Gospel Made Visible Dever helps us to see how the good news goes cinematic in the nitty-gritty lives of local congregations. What a joy comes from recognizing the embodinment of the gospel in our very ordinary congregations!"

Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman Islands

"The church today desperately needs to think more deeply about the church. That's why I'm incredibly thankful for Mark Dever. No one writes as passionately, as winsomely, or as practically about the church. This book is a wonderful example of all those traits. Even though my theology is different on a few important points like baptism and congregationalism, I always learn from Mark when he talks ecclesiology. If you love the church, you'll love this book. And if the doctrine of the church sounds terribly unimportant, then you need to read this book even more."

Kevin DeYoung, sanior pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

Mark E. Dever (born August 28th, 1960) has been the senior pastor of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 1994 and is the executive director of 9Marks Ministries (formerly known as the Center for Church Reform), a Christian ministry he co-founded “in an effort to build biblically faithful churches in America.”. He is known as a Calvinist preacher.


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    Digital list price: $12.99
    Save $3.00 (23%)