Review: 12 Challenges Churches Face

12 Challenges Churches Face
12 Challenges Churches Face by Mark Dever
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up this book because the title was intriguing and I have read other works by the author. What I didn’t realize until I started reading it is that this is a study of 1 Corinthians. Dever goes through chapter-by-chapter touching on the major themes and ideas of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Throughout he makes modern practical applications from this first century letter.

This book is readable. It is not written like a commentary, which it is not. Though I am sure the book was developed from sermonic material, it doesn’t read like a collection of sermons. Dever keeps it all together by keeping in sight the big picture context of the book as a whole.

As always, there are things here and there we could pick at. There is an appendix in the back that gives brief answers to some of the tough questions in 1 Corinthians 7. I appreciate the answers given to what are some tough questions from that chapter, but couldn’t agree fully with many of them. 1 Corinthians as a whole presents many difficulties and this book isn’t going to give you a lot of help on those. The real strength of this book is staying with the big picture and main themes and ideas. Some of the difficulties of 1 Corinthians can actually get you off track if you lose sight of the overall context. In that regard, Dever does a great job here.

If it has been a while, read the whole book of 1 Corinthians through and then read “12 Challenges Churches Face.” It will be well worth your time.

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About Jeff Short