Thursday, August 19, 2010
9 Marks of a Healthy Church
Just finished reading "9 Marks of a Healthy Church" by Mark Dever, which was one of the lending books offered at our church's last family camp that I had a chance to check out. I was curious to read this from some various things I've heard about the book, in addition to my familiarity with the 9Marks website and some of Mark Dever's MP3 resources that I've downloaded from that site. I've appreciated his teaching and interview series, so it was great to actually read this book (which I worked into various lunchbreak reading times at work...)
9 Marks presents an excellent systematic breakdown of nine core principles that ideally should be foundational to a genuine church of Jesus Christ. Right off the bat the first mark is expositional preaching, and to me that's so refreshing to see this addressed foremost. During my time church-hopping it was such a drain to find church after church presenting topical teaching with very little Scripture actually used. Dever's emphasis on the exposition of scripture is so refreshing, and how I'd personally love to see this book fall into the hands of so many churches throughout the Woodlands area...
Further marks include sections devoted to the Gospel, evangelism, church discipline - all sections an excellent reference manual of key elements that the church should not be without. Even from my own lazyman lay perspective I was really convicted that not only are these fundamental elements that must be a Biblical church, but the emphasis becomes to examine the church that we are a part of to see if the church work is adhering to these principles (which, praise the Lord, the church I'm currently a member of is... in fact, I wouldn't have had this book to read (see Mark 8... erm, the ninth mark of 'Nine Marks', not Mark chapter 8.... :)