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The Five Smooth Stones: Essential Principles for Biblical Ministry Paperback – September 1, 2007
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About the Author
University in Columbia, South Carolina. His previous books include
Understanding and Applying the Bible, Life in the Spirit, and A Promise
Kept. He is married and has six children.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's fascinating to hear how churches live or die by whether they actively teach and practice these five essential dogmas:
1. Bibliology, the bible.
2. Christology, the lordship of Jesus Christ
3. Pneumatology, the Holy Spirit
4. Missiology, the plan of redemption
5. Ecclesiology, the church
Bibliology: McQuilkin's points out that each stone must be viewed through the lens of scripture, pointing out that all Church/Christian actions must be founded and verified by the Bible in a process of three steps: exegesis (what text says), hermeneutics (author's original meaning), and application (modern usage), especially in when dealing with Post-modernism and Therapeutic Theology.
Christology: Christ must be recognized as Lord of the church and each individual, and subsequently as the true leader of a congregation, not just a figurehead for a human usurper. One of the essential roles of human leadership in the church is to establish a biblical foundation for both unity and purity to avoid moral delinquency and heretical teaching without falling into the sin of schism.
Pneumatology: McQuilkin addresses the need for churches to seek an active
partnership with the Holy Spirit, who's power and role keeps the spotlight on the Father & the Son. Regardless of a church's view on cessation, he discusses what the Spiritual Gifts are and aren't (compared to the Fruit of the Spirit and natural talents), while pointing out the lack of precise definitions of the gifts and the overarching need for prayer.
Ecclesiology: Since God's people are no longer a nation, but a community of believers known as the church, composed of local congregations empowered with all the spiritual gifts as they pursue mandates of: worship, making disciples, member care, and pursuing welfare in the community.
Missiology: Since the whole bible is God's story of redemption carried out by man, McQuilkin points out that the church's primary purpose is the Great Commission, both domestic and abroad through witness (all Christians) and evangelism (those gifted). The new missions trends of short-term trips and "send money not people" are deemed unrealistic, a violation of biblical mandate, and damaging to both the sending & receiving churches. Instead a "both/and" of sending your children and financial support bathed in prayer is promoted as paramount.
Dr. McQuilken discusses each of these principles in-depth. For example, he effectively shows the relationship between psychology and theology in light of scriptural instruction under the first principle which focuses on the Bible's authority. He explores topics such as postmodernism, finances, true missions, and making effective disciples for Christ. This book is guaranteed to stretch you as a leader and challenge you to embrace scripturally sound models for effective leadership in your church or parachurch organization.
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Author: Robertson McQuilkin
Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2007
Number of pages: 208
The Five Smooth Stones is the product of Robertson McQuilkin's more than fifty years of ministry. Even in his early years, new ministry methods and methodologies came and went. That has not stopped. So what's right? Is there a method that will last? New voices in ministry say that methodology and theology must be kept separate in order for both to be strong and meaningful; if combined, methods are feeble and theology is marginalized. Does that mean the Bible doesn't speak to methods? McQuilkin says no. The Bible is a wonderful guide for ministry.
McQuilkin organizes the book around these Five Smooth Stones:
The Bible: making it the functional authority
The Congregation: aligning it with the biblical purposes
The Spirit: releasing his energizing power
The Plan of Redemption: the mission of every disciple.
The Lord Jesus: gauging servant leadership.
All five of the above areas need to be given equal attention or the church will be out of balance. The church will only be as strong as the weakest area. The weak area will be like a flat spot on a wheel; it slows down the rhythm and momentum of church growth and effectiveness.
McQuilkin draws from his fives decades of personal and ministry experience that has developed in him a deep well of wisdom.
The emphasis McQuilkin has is on fulfilling God's purposes on earth through His chosen vehicle, the church. An attempt to find McQuilkin biased toward one denomination or another within Protestantism is difficult. He sites examples of both praise and critique across a wide spectrum from Pentecostal to Baptist to Reformed. None are given preference one way or another. None are written off as bad or held up as the only way to do church.
McQuilkin includes helpful flow charts and tables to illustrate the concepts he discusses. This book will be on my shelf as a reference and recommended manual. Anyone in church leadership will benefit from this book. Anyone with a heart set on planting a church or looking for a way to bring an out of balance work back under the Lordship of Jesus Christ will profit greatly from The Five Smooth Stones.