The Church: The Gospel Made Visible  -     By: Mark Dever
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The Church: The Gospel Made Visible

B&H Academic / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: B&H Academic
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.59 (inches)
ISBN: 1433677768
ISBN-13: 9781433677762
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

Mark Dever is senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and president of 9Marks. He holds degrees from Duke University (B.A.), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Theol.), and Cambridge University (PH.D.).

Editorial Reviews

 "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 issues 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, Southeastern 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 joy comes from recognizing the embodiment 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, as biblically, 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, Senior pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

"I’m not sure that I know anyone who has read more on ecclesiology, from the whole breadth of the Christian tradition, than Mark Dever. So, his exegesis is not done in isolation but in conversation with twenty centuries of Christian thinking. As a Presbyterian, I would encourage non-Baptists and non-congregationalists to read and engage with Mark’s work, not only because it is so welldone, biblical, and helpful, but also because of a huge evangelical blind spot the book addresses. Ecclesiology is indisputably one of evangelicalism’s great weaknesses, in part because of subjectivism, individualism, and pragmatism. Mark offers a robust corrective to this, and even where you may disagree you will find yourself edified and instructed. Mark approaches this subject not simply as a skilled historical theologian and systematician, but also as a local church pastor who has fostered a vital and healthy embrace of biblical polity in his own congregation, with happy results. He is no "dry- land sailor" or impractical theoretician but a faithful shepherd. The growth and life and fruitfulness of his flock testify to this."
Ligon Duncan, Senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

"Trust me, if you talk with my friend Mark Dever for more than five minutes, the local church will come up in the conversation—not only because it is the focus of his impressive academic work, but because the church is to him as it was to Charles Spurgeon, ’the dearest place on earth.’ Over many discussions Mark has taught me much about the church, and even in areas where we disagree, I’ve been affected by his passion for the church. This book allows you to have a similar conversation with Mark, and I have no doubt that your heart will be stirred with love for the church universal and for your local church in particular."
C. J. Mahaney, President, Sovereign Grace Ministries

"For far too long, the church has suffered for its lack of attention to ecclesiology. Thankfully, that neglect has given way to a new age of rediscovery, and Mark Dever has been a key catalyst for the recovery of biblical ecclesiology. In this book, you will find a faithful, truthful, thrilling understanding of the church. But be warned: Once you read this book, you will never be satisfied until you are a part of a church that is growing into this kind of faithfulness and life."
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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  1. David Gough
    Alexandria, VA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Seeing Christ Through the Church
    February 25, 2013
    David Gough
    Alexandria, VA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    There is no clearer voice on the subject of church reformation in our day than Mark Dever. This recent work, "The Church: The Gospel Made Visible" elaborates in greater theological tone what he has already unfolded practically in "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church." That is not to say that the present volume is written for the scholar (after all, how much can be put forth in 166 pages?), but it is well-researched and well-referenced. The footnotes on nearly every page expand what Dever himself writes. The author chooses instead to present non-murky statements that motivate the interested reader to dig deeper into the subject of how the local church has been called to image the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. Rather than being an academic text, this book is more of a handbook on church polity. It is intended to provide a foundation or "starting point" in thinking through what the reformed local assembly is to look like. Dever begins with a brief overview of what the Bible has to say about the church. He next moves into an even briefer history of the church from its beginning until now. In the final section, he discusses the practical implications of local church life and argues why the Congregational-Baptist model best fits the biblical pattern. The final chapter of the book is entitled "What Does This Matter?" and whets the reader's appetite for more discussion about the importance of church membership and church discipline. "The Church" would make an excellent volume for small group study within churches looking to reform. It lacks enough detailed content to serve as an ecclesiology text in a more advanced course of study, but it would serve well as a complementary volume.
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