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September/October 2009 eJournal Editor's Note

9Marks eJournal
September/October 2009, Volume 6, Issue 5


Editor’s Note
Tough love. Who wants it!? Who doesn’t prefer cushy love, or chocolate and rose-petaled love, or even beatific vision love!

Western culture doesn’t seem to understand tough love. Love today means unconditional acceptance. If you love me with conditions, you don’t love me. You’re judgmental and intolerant.

God knows better. He knows we’re finite and fallen. Therefore, his love challenges us at the very points of our finitude and fallenness for our good, and that’s not comfortable.

Church discipline is just such an uncomfortable act of tough love, which is why 9Marks would like to spend two issues of the eJournal considering this important topic. In this issue, Wyman Richardson and Greg Wills help us to count the cost of practicing or not practicing church discipline. Ken Sande offers some legal counsel. And Kevin DeYoung, a pastor in mainline Protestant land, offers words of warning to evangelical land, a land where tough love increasingly has to shout to be heard.

In case you are new to the topic of church discipline, I offer a primer and review three good books on the subject. Also, check out Bobby Jamieson’s user’s guide to the intimidating but inimitable Polity volume.

When asked what she learned from 1 Corinthians 13, my three year old daughter said, “Love is patient, love is kind. Love is huggy and kissy.” Yes, she is a darling. But I must ask, shouldn’t we expect deeper sentiments from our church’s leaders?

—Jonathan Leeman



More Than Worth It: Costs and Benefits of Church Discipline
This church discipline cost-benefit analysis might surprise you, both by what you'll gain by practicing discipline and by what you'll lose by neglecting it.
By Wyman Richardson

A Church Discipline Primer
In case you're new to the topic, here's the "what," the "when," the "how," and the "why" of church discipline.
By Jonathan Leeman


Was Dagg Right?
Over 150 years ago, John Dagg famously said, "When discipline leaves a church, Christ leaves with it." Was he right?
By Gregory A. Wills

Informed Consent: Biblical and Legal Protection for Church Discipline
How can churches wisely practice discipline in a litigious society?
By Ken Sande

Discipline in the mainline—Is it Possible or Even Wise?
DeYoung tackles the question of whether a church can practice discipline when its denomination doesn't. Along the way he offers lessons for Evangelicals from the Mainline.
By Kevin DeYoung


Polity on Church Discipline: A User's Guide
Treasures of biblical wisdom lie buried beneath dense prose in this collection of historic Baptist writings. This article helps you mine them out.
By Bobby Jamieson

Book Review: Handbook of Church Discipline by Jay Adams
Reviewed by Jonathan Leeman

Book Review: The Transforming Community by Mark Lauterbach
Reviewed by Jonathan Leeman

Book Review: Discipline with Care by Steven McQuoid
Reviewed by Jonathan Leeman

Reviews in the next issue: Walking Together: A Congregational Reflection on Biblical Church Discipline, by Wyman Lewis Richardson; Winning the Real Battle at Church: Safeguard Your Congregation Against Destructive Conflict, by David & Diane Noble


Book Reviews: Who Runs the Church? Four Views on Church Government, edited by Steven B. Cowan;
Perspectives on Church Government, edited by Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman

Reviewed by Bobby Jamieson

Book Review: Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, ed. Thomas White, Jason G. Deusing, and Malcomb B. Yarnell, III
Reviewed by Greg Gilbert

Book Review: Organic Church by Neil Cole
Reviewed by Kevin McFadden

Book Review: Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
Reviewed by Patrick Schreiner


The Emerging Church and More with Kevin DeYoung
Kevin DeYoung discusses the emerging church, orthodoxy, finding the will of God, and more.
Posted on September 1, 2009

Being Faithful in a Secular World with Darryl Hart
Posted on August 1, 2009
Darryl Hart discusses J. Gresham Machen, evangelicalism, and why Christians shouldn't be afraid of secularism.





God Exposed: Awkward Preaching in an Age of Comfort
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina
September 25 – 26, 2009
Mark Dever, Danny Akin, C.J. Mahaney, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mike McKinley



9Marks Workshop
Baton Rouge, LA
October 16 – 17, 2009
Matt Schmucker, Greg Gilbert, and Kevin Wilkening



9Marks Workshop
Riverside, CA
November 6 – 7, 2009
Mark Dever, Greg Gilbert, and Rick Holland



Together for the Gospel 2010
Louisville, Kentucky
April 13 – 15, 2010
Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul

Registration is now open!


The Korean translation of The Message of the Old Testament by Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever, and Twelve Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever can be purchased here.




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