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Ours is an anti-polity age, perhaps more than any other time in the history of the church. Yet polity remains as important now as it was in the New Testament.
What then is a right or biblical polity? The contributors to this volume make an exegetical and theological case for a Baptist polity. Right polity, they argue, is congregationalism, elder leadership, diaconal service, regenerate church membership, church discipline, and a Baptist approach to the ordinances.
Each section explores the pastoral applications of these arguments. How do congregationalism and elder leadership work together? When should a church practice church discipline? How can one church work with another in matters of membership and discipline?
To be read sequentially or used as a reference guide, Baptist Foundations provides a contemporary treatment of Baptist church government and structures, the first of its kind in decades.
Mark Dever is senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC; president of 9Marks; and adjunct professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Jonathan Leeman is editorial director at 9Marks, occasional lecturer at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Table of Contents
Foreword, James Leo Garrett Introduction
Part 1: Congregationalism 1. Some Historical Roots of Congregationalism, Michael Haykin 2. The Biblical and Theological Case for Congregationalism, Stephen Wellum and Kirk Wellum
Part 2: The Ordinances 3. Five Preliminary Issues for Understanding the Ordinances, Shawn Wright 4. Baptism in the Bible, Thomas Schreiner 5. Baptism in History, Theology, and the Church, Shawn Wright 6. The Lord’s Supper in the Bible, Thomas Schreiner 7. The Lord’s Supper in History, Theology, and the Church, Shawn Wright
Part 3: Church Membership and Discipline 8. The Why and Who of Church Membership, John Hammett 9. The What and How of Church Membership, John Hammett 10. The Why, How, and When of Church Discipline, Thomas White
Part 4: Elders and Deacons 11. Elders and Deacons in History, Mark Dever 12. The Scriptural Basis for Elders, Ben Merkle 13. The Biblical Qualifications for Elders, Ben Merkle 14. The Biblical Role of Elders, Ben Merkle 15. Practical Issues in Elder Ministry, Andrew Davis 16. The Biblical Basis, Qualifications, and Role of Deacons, Ben Merkle 17. Practical Issues in Deacon Ministry, Andrew Davis
Part 5: The Church and Churches 18. A Congregational Approach to Unity, Holiness, and Apostolicity, Jonathan Leeman 19. Independence and Interdependence, Jonathan Leeman