Skip to main content

Book: 40 Questions about Church Membership and Discipline

Let us take a look today at the latest in the 40 Questions series from Kregel Academic. This one is 40 Questions about Church Membership and Discipline, and it’s by Jeremy M. Kimble. Kimble is an assistant professor at Cedarville College, and his background is Baptist. Southern Baptist, if you’d like to be precise.

40 Questions about Church Membership and Discipline (40QaCMaD) is 272 pages, trade paperback size, and all text. It is published by Kregel Academic, and the series editor for the 40 Questions series is Benjamin L. Merkle. I personally own several entries in this series and have appreciated all of them.

On to 40QaCMaD: First, the overall format of questions/answers is a good way to explore a topic. The primary drawback is that the same person provides the questions and the answers. That means the author is never stumped by a question and gets to dodge the troublesome ones.

Which, unfortunately, does happen in this work. I’ll start with the drawback, the missing questions, and then end on the positives. The missing questions deal with protecting against abuse in a church discipline system. While not advocating an excessive discipline, it is a legitimate question to ask: How does a church prevent its disciplinary system from becoming a tool of abuse? No guardrails are suggested, and in fact, the chapter on why some churches do not practice discipline seems to acknowledge and then dismiss the concern of abuse.

That being said, this book is still a valuable tool for understanding church membership. First, note that Kimble, the author, and Merkle, the editor, are Baptists. The assumptions underlying church membership and discipline include congregational involvement and independent local churches. Keep that in mind if you’re inclined toward a hierarchal church structure.

The opening half of the book is focused on church membership. The 20 questions involved cover everything from qualifications to benefits to responsibilities of church members. These are good, though brief. Keep in mind that whole papers and books are written about subjects such as what age a child should be a church member.

The second half, of course, then deals with discipline. This is also good and deals well with practical ideas about keeping the church on-course through discipline. It also deals with the specific question of handling church leaders who need discipline.

As with all books, the presence of footnotes is pleasing to the eye, so that I’m not flipping around trying to find the references.

In all, a useful guidebook for those considering what church membership should mean and how that relates to church discipline.

(Book received from the publisher in exchange for the review.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!