Thursday, June 2, 2011

Twelve Challenges Churches Face – Mark Dever

©2008 Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL

As senior pastor of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Mark Dever’s preferred method of preaching systems is to preach through books of the Bible in a series. This book is a collection of the sermons he preached one year based on the text of 1 Corinthians.

Dever identifies these issues that could be detrimental to the health of a church (as addressed by the apostle Paul):
  1. Forgetfulness
  2. Division
  3. Impostors
  4. Sin
  5. Asceticism
  6. Disobedience
  7. Legalism
  8. Autonomy
  9. Thoughtlessness
  10. Selfishness
  11. Death
  12. Decline

While Dever’s exegesis shows his typical attention to detail with a strong respect for the scripture. And the majority of the sermons are not only challenging to the reader/listener, but also extremely easy to follow. On the other hand, his chapters on Autonomy, Death and Decline keep us guessing as to either what he is addressing or where he is going in the discussion.

Even so, this volume is an excellent study on the book of 1 Corinthians. I would not place it on the shelf with my commentaries of the book (which isn’t really what the goal of the book is anyway), but it will find its way to sermon collections to which I can refer for illustrative or exegetical material when preaching from this epistle myself. Thanks Mark for a good read.  Four out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, June 2, 2011

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