Book Recommendation…for the pastor’s local church

On Monday, I posted on Why local churches should practice church discipline.  As promised, here are a few books I would highly recommend if you are interested in reading further on the subject.  The first book I would recommend is my friend, Jonathan Leeman’s modern work, The Surprising Offense of God’s Love.  I consider this the definitive modern work on this issue with no equal to Jonathan’s thoughfulness and pastoral insight.  This is a meaty volume, but it is worth the effort. 

in addition to this book, there is the classic book edited by Mark Dever entitled, Polity.  This is an intimidating book at first glance, but is a wealth of historic information on how Baptists of the past dealt with this issue.  Many of the practical outworkings of our own discipline situations in our church came from the biblically faithful examples found in this book.  Mark has done us a great service in taking these smaller unpublished books on the subject and publishing them in one volume.

Here are a few others in no particular order that I also found to be a great help to me and would be for any pastor:

The Transforming Community by Mark Lauterbach

Democratic Religion by Greg Wills

Handbook of Church Discipline by Jay Adams

Posted in Book Recommendation
6 comments on “Book Recommendation…for the pastor’s local church
  1. Tim says:

    You’ve read through all of these books on church discipline? Impressive! You should write reviews on all of them.

    • briancroft says:

      I can’t say I have read every word of the Polity volume, but most of it. It is a collection of Baptist documents and used well for referencing. Some were more carefully read throughout the years, while others were skimmed. I’m not a fast reader. I was exposed to this idea many years ago as my older brother Scott, helped put together the Polity book. As a history buff, Democratic Religion was a fun, interesting read and one that can be read like a biography.

      • Tim says:

        Cool. What’s the argument of Democratic Religion?

        • briancroft says:

          The way Southern Baptist Churches functioned in the 19th century in the deep south in regard to discipline, membership, and authority and its progressive change in those areas as it moved into the 20th century and why it changed. Very interesting, especially if you are a Southern Baptist and a history buff like me!

  2. Hi Brian – I can’t see a book called ‘Polity’ on the Amazon link you posted, only a range of titles on the general subject.

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