- Series: Counterpoints: Church Life
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (August 26, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310246075
- ISBN-13: 978-0310246077
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Who Runs the Church?: 4 Views on Church Government (Counterpoints: Church Life) Paperback – August 26, 2004
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From the Back Cover
Churches have split and denominations have formed over the issue of church government. Yet while many Christians can explain their particular church's form of rule and may staunchly uphold it, few have a truly biblical understanding of it. What model for governing the church does the Bible provide? Is there room for different methods? Or is just one way the right way? In Who Runs the Church? Four predominant approaches to church government are presented by respected proponents: * Episcopalianism (Peter Toon) * Presbyterianism (L. Roy Taylor) * Single-Elder Congregationalism (Paige Patterson) * Plural-Elder Congregationalism (Samuel E. Waldron). As in other Counterpoints books, each view is followed by critiques from the other contributors, and its advocate then responds. The interactive and fair-minded nature of the Counterpoints format allows the reader to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each view and draw informed, personal conclusions.
About the Author
Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.
Steven B. Cowan (M.Div.; Ph.D.) is associate professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, AL.
Peter Toon (Ph.D., Oxford University) is rector of Christ Church, Biddulph Moor, Diocese of Lichfield, in the Church of England.
Dr. L. Roy Taylor is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He has served as a Presbyterian Churches in America (PCA) pastor for sixteen years, as a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary for ten years, and as stated clerk of the General Assembly of the PCA since 1998. He has written various article and is the author of several books, including Four Views on Church Government (Countperpoints series, Zondervan). He and his wife, Donna, have two children and five grandchildren.
Paige Patterson (Th.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) is president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.
Samuel E. Waldron is currently a PhD candidate in systematic theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
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Top Customer Reviews
Episcopalian is "hierarchical" with the bishop ordaining each priest or rector in the local church. This model includes churches such as the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Episcopalian Church, the United Methodist Church, and some Lutheran groups.
Presbyterian is "representative" with presbyters or elders providing the oversight of local churches and pastors. This model includes the Presbyterian Church (USA), Christian Reformed Church, the Assemblies of God, and others.
Congregational is "independent" with the pastor providing the oversight of the local church without any external ecclesiastical authority (or regional district) as found in the other two models. This model includes churches such as the Southern Baptists, General Baptists, Churches of Christ, and other independent churches. (The fourth view is an offshoot of this model but with a plurality of pastors as the authority instead of a single pastor).
If you are considering a denominational change, particularly for leadership reasons, then this book is a must read. It gives insight into how denominations function and why. It will confirm which model best fits your style and goals. Some pastors enjoy climbing ecclesiastical ladders within a denomination, while others enjoy their exclusive focus on the local church. It may save some pastors years of frustration fighting red tape, while birthing vision in others who desire to oversee a region of churches. It is well written and researched.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Humbly approaching a book with such diverse views is difficult at best. Many presuppositions are embedded within each reader.Read more