Thursday, December 18, 2003

Book Review - Mark Dever, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church
Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2000. pp. 255.
Reviewed by Michael J. Vlach

"In his book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., sets forth what he believes to be the marks of a healthy church. The book, itself, is based on a series of sermons that Dever, a Southern Baptist minister, preached to his church....

...Mark one of a healthy church is expositional preaching. According to Dever, expositional preaching is "that preaching which takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture" (26). Dever believes that expositional preaching is "far and away the most important" of all the marks (25). In fact, he asserts that if churches would get this first mark right, all of the other marks he mentions would naturally follow..."

"..the point of a particular passage of Scripture"... Instead of ones own agenda or scholastic pet peeve? YES! AMEN! Such expositional preaching would hedge the preacher in to the Word Itself; a safe place for preacher and congregation to be. Let the passage speak for itself instead of bringing your egotistical self-serving agenda to it. Now I understand why some preachers don't like the constraints of expostional preaching... It cramps their abusive gentile leadership style!
~ The Billy Goat ~

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