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God Redeeming His Bride: A Handbook for Church Discipline Paperback – January 20, 2013

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"a wonderfully practical and refreshingly gracious treatment of the topic. Even those who don't subscribe to everything Cheong says will find this book to be a significant help." ~ Thomas R. Schreiner (James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)

The subject of church discipline is no walk in the park. People's lives hang in the balance. My friend Robert clearly shows that church discipline is an integral part of gospel centered ministry both theologically and practically. He provides a step by step guide so that the reader understands not only what discipline is but how to go about it. In the process, he gives us a model for the body of Christ ministering to one another in the grace, compassion, and humility characteristic of the gospel. This is a must read for every pastor. ~ Rob Green (Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries, Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana)

It has taken courage for Robert Cheong to write this book. He is knowingly wading into an area of much confusion and regret in churches. Church discipline is a ministry which, even if it is done well, it can be a painful experience for all involved. So it also takes the heart of a shepherd to speak to those leading through church discipline or living somewhere in it. Robert has the courage and shepherd's heart - and the Gospel clarity - to help us all in difficult times where church discipline is the redemptive way ahead. ~ Andy Farmer (Pastor of Community and Care, Covenant Fellowship Church, Glen Mills, PA)

I appreciate this book for three reasons. First, it's theologically rich, anchoring church discipline in the glorious drama of God's redeeming work. Second, it's pastorally wise, written by a seasoned shepherd who knows the joy and pain of leading and protecting the flock. And third, it's practically helpful - the appendices alone are worth the price of the book. Robert's work on this important subject is a gift to every gospel-loving church leader and church member. ~ Bob Thune (Co-author of The Gospel-Centered Life, Lead Pastor, Coram Deo Church Community, Omaha, Nebraska)

It was impossible for me to read this book without being personally convicted by my lack of faithfulness to live out the radical love of Jesus in the context of a community on mission. My failure to pursue people who have sinned and hurt the church was shown to be significant. Additionally, the book is full of sage advice on exactly HOW to walk through the rigors of church discipline. The day after I read it, I found myself quoting it several times. It's hard for me to imagine someone writing a more helpful, practical, gospel-centered book on church discipline. ~ Abe Meysenburg (Pastor and Elder, Soma Communities, Tacoma, WA)

Robert Cheong is committed to fostering gospel-centered communities that express the full range of God's love toward one another, even when it comes to correction and discipline. He expands our view of church discipline considerably by mining the riches of God's Word and grand redemptive story-beyond the handful of classic "church discipline" passages-and casting a vision for the whole church living as a patient, loving, wise, intentional, and personally engaged community. He's packed the appendices with invaluable practical guidelines to help us diligently work out the details. ~ Mike Wilkerson (Director of Training and Developlment, Live at Peace Ministries, St Louis, Missouri)

God Redeeming His Bride is one of the best tools available to the church today that can help us recover the critical and pastoral practice of church discipline. Robert Cheong proves himself to be a modern day Richard Baxter as he has given us a thoroughly biblical, deeply theological, eminently practical, and easily accessible book I believe God will use to bring greater health to our local churches. ~ Joe Thorn (Author, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself; Lead Pastor, Redeemer Fellowship, St. Charles, Illinois.)

Robert Cheong's book has become my new favorite on the painfully glorious topic of church discipline. Our brother has given us biblical moorings, gospel implications and practical wisdom for doing the hard and heart work of discipline in the life of the local church. This book will help many Christians understand why John Calvin insisted that church discipline is one of the three essential marks of the church. But it will also make the gospel, itself, more beautiful to many, as Jesus' passionate love for his bride is explained and applied in such a profound and practical way. ~ Scotty Ward Smith (Founding Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee )

I really appreciate Robert's clear and accurate description of God's heart in the discipline of his children. There is a deep love and compassion in how God pursues the hearts of men and women he has redeemed. I really appreciate how Robert speaks to the role of biblical community in God's redeeming of His bride through loving and redemptive discipline. It would be incredibly unloving for God to not correct His children and this work highlights the deep love of God through church discipline. ~ Lee Lewis (The Village Church, Fort Worth, Texas)

I followed a pastor and mentor who faithfully led our church to practice biblical church discipline. Of all the comments and expressions of appreciation I could make about my predecessor Bill Goode, that is by far one of the most important. His courage to be a biblical pastor made my job much easier and I am forever indebted to him. The church of Jesus Christ needs to carefully heed what my friend Robert Cheong has written. This book is wise, winsome, gospel-centered and full of grace. Some of what it teaches will require taking hard and sometimes unpopular steps. Do it for many reasons, including the respect and appreciation you will receive from the pastor who follows you. ~ Stephen Viars (Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana)

"As difficult and painful as it can be, church discipline is a crucial obligation that Jesus has given to us as his people. But how do you do it? As a pastor, how do you both care for those who are in sin and at the same time lead the church as a whole to exercise its duty to exercise discipline? And why is church discipline necessary in the first place? These are some of the questions that Robert Cheong addresses in his book God Redeeming His Bride. Setting the concept of church discipline in the context of the Gospel and God's work of redemption, Cheong gives highly practical advice about every step in the process - encouraging and teaching along the way." ~ Greg Gilbert (Senior Pastor, Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky, Author of What is the Gospel? )

"It is one thing to believe, in theory, in what God says in the Bible about the necessity of church discipline. It is another thing altogether to know how to navigate the process in the case of an unrepentant, falling church member. In this book, Robert Cheong, with biblical brilliance and pastoral compassion, provides a model for churches and leaders." ~ Russell D. Moore (President, The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission)

"One of the most painful things to do as a pastor is to teach and lead out in the discipline of the church. We need courage. This book helps encourage us as we obey the call for the purity of the gospel through the local church." ~ Darrin Patrick (Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri)

"Eminently practical while deeply theological, this gospel-centered approach to church discipline is a ground-breaking book that every pastor and every church leadership team should read and apply." ~ Robert W. Kellemen (Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Lafayette, Indiana)

"a treasure-trove of grace, wisdom, and gospel truths regarding the difficult topic of church discipline, drawn from a pastor's hard-earned experience with the reality of sin and the power of the gospel." ~ Justin S. Holcomb (Adjunct Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida)

"Robert Cheong's contribution is unique, then, for its breadth: it is scripturally rich, theologically robust, narratively engaging, practically saturated, and ecclesially helpful. It is also unique because its author, a scholar pastor, has been engaged in hundreds of church discipline cases either personally or by means of counseling and training others, so his book reflects a wisdom forged through experience." ~ Gregg R. Allison (Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)

"a timely addition to any pastor's - or church member for that matter-field manual for real-life ministry." ~ Ed Stetzer (President, LifeWay Research, Nashville, Tennessee)

Review

"May the Lord use it to help us, as his church, become the beautiful bride she was purchased to be." ~ Steve Timmis (Executive Director of the Acts 29 Network & Pastor, The Crowded House, Sheffield)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Focus (January 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845507193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845507190
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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When I spent time on the phone with Robert to discuss his research, I had little idea of the quality of what he would produce. Church discipline us, after all, not on the top of the list of felt needs in leaders, nor a subject which we think would be interesting. After all, Matthew 18 is pretty straightforward. How much can you say?

Robert weaves together real life and Scripture to show that church discipline is part of something glorious -- the work of Christ the Savior to cleanse and purify his bride. Christ purifies by his death and through his people in relationships, relationships that stir us to holiness of life. All that is to be expressed with patience, humility, tact, the oversight of elders, and with courageous faith.

As a pastor of 3 decades, and having walked through a few dozen of these situations, I found myself saying an "Amen" again and again. This book leads with principles and can be applied in any context. It has both wisdom and clarity, a clarity that would serve every church seeking to be a representation of Christ to the world. I was drawn to a high view of the local church, provoked to war against expressive individualism, and renewed in my commitment to raise the vision of our flock to the call of God in Christ.

I recommend it heartily.
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Let's be honest: no one gets excited to read a book about church discipline. We'd rather read something on strategy, growth, vision, or when all else fails something with "gospel-centered" in the title. But if you are a church leader, you need to think long and hard about church discipline. Dr. Cheong's book is a great place to start.

"God Redeeming His Bride" will frustrate you and encourage you at the same time. So often I want a step by step manual for how to handle situations, especially difficult ones. But Dr. Cheong refuses to give us a list of steps. Instead he gives us the heart of God behind church discipline. He paints a picture of the nature of the church. He reminds us what's at stake and why we should fight for it.

To frame each chapter, the book tells the story of John and Kathy, a fictional couple who walk through the church discipline process with friends and pastors from their church. Using their story as a spring board, Cheong paints a picture of what church discipline can look like in the body of Christ.

It is not a clean picture- Cheong acknowledges the mess all the way through- but he also gives us hope in a picture of what the refining process can produce.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book on one of the most difficult issues in church leadership! We desperately needed to be given a vision for a redemptive rather than a punitive approach to church discipline. If you are looking for instruction and wisdom rooted in the love of Jesus Christ for the sinner it can be found in this book. I only wish this book had been available 20 years ago, before I became an elder. Thank you Dr. Cheong.
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I haved read 100s of books and only kept a few and this is one that is worth keeping because I will refer to it often and share its contents with others. The author has changed my perspective on the depths of God's love and redemptive purposes for mankind.
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