Book Review: Understanding the Congregation’s Authority

Understanding the Congregation's Authority (Church Basics)Understanding the Congregation’s Authority by Jonathan Leeman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m a firm believer in congregationalism as the only biblical model, but any attempt to build the case for congregationalism from the Old Testament is going to be problematic. First, the church is not in the Old Testament, but is a mystery revealed by Christ in the New Testament. That is not the same thing as saying the Old Testament has no relevance for the church. Leeman’s approach suffered from a covenant theology that has been developed theologically and not exegetically. He places the church at the end of the line of historical redemptive development as though the church is ultimate—Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ, church. He actually made the church out to be another Adam, which confuses the churches’ purpose and mission. There is only the first Adam and the last Adam, which is Christ. There is the first Adam and the second Adam is Christ. Leeman puts the church in a universal, invisible kingdom where the church is another Adam taking dominion of the earth. This is an over-realized eschatology where the church supersedes Israel and serves as a second priesthood. More could be said.

Where Leeman actually addressed congregational authority from the New Testament, he did a good job. There’s definitely good in this book, but it’s a shame it’s in such a mixed bag.

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Book Review: The Glory of a True Church

The Glory of a True ChurchThe Glory of a True Church by Benjamin Keach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good look at Baptist polity in the seventeenth century. Spoiler alert: he does mention dismembering people and loose livers. Probably not what you’re thinking.

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