Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What Is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever

5 of 5 stars  *****

Mark Dever defines the church, congregation, evangelism, deacons, elders, and the Word of God in the best way for his audience to understand what constitutes a healthy church. He highlights three key principles upon which a healthy church exists: expositional preaching, biblical theology, and a right understanding of the gospel. Beyond those three essential attributes of a healthy church, Dever asserts that a biblical view of Conversion, Evangelism, Membership, Discipline, Discipleship, and Leadership are important parts of the body of Christ, the living Word, Himself.

There is one passage that is particularly compelling to this reader. It is about Evangelism:

Evangelism, in other words, is not about doing everything we can to get a person to make a decision for Jesus, much less about imposing our views. Attempting to force a spiritual birth will prove to be as effective as Ezekiel trying to stitch dead, dry bones together to make a person (Ezekiel 37), ...
-Dever, p. 91

The message is that conversion is by the Holy Spirit and not a man, congregation, or church. The duty of the evangelist is to bring the Word of God to others without attachment to the outcome. The healthy church is a body of believers who act as much like Jesus Christ as possible, speak with the Holy Spirit within them, nonjudgmental and humble in their walk and talk that praises our Father in whose image we are all made.