Mark Dever Asks a Good Question

If you aren’t familiar with Pastor Mark Dever’s “Nine Marks” organization, you should be. Nine Marks exists to:

cultivate and encourage churches characterized by these nine marks: Expositional Preaching, Biblical Theology, Biblical Understanding of the Good News, Biblical Understanding of Conversion, Biblical Understanding of Evangelism, Biblical Understanding of Membership, Biblical Church Discipline, Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth, Biblical Understanding of Leadership

so there are many places where the mission of Nine Marks and the mission of this Blog overlap.

Recently Nine Marks sent out their 2007 Report Card, and on the first page of the Report Card itself was a quote from Dever that I found intriguing and perhaps one that most modern evangelical churches should give some consideration to:

“I want you to try a thought exercise. Suppose a business school class on non-profit organizations assigned its students the task of building a successful church. And assume all the students are non-Christians. Could they succeed?

Sure they could! With the right poll-tested methods, just about anyone can draw a crowd. If ambiance sells coffee, why not use it to sell Jesus? The church might even win a “Most Innovative!” award.

Yet think about this: what does it say about God if we need to market his glory and gospel with the same tools we use to sell toothpaste and laundry detergent? Is he really that desperate?

God is so much more glorious. He has declared a mighty gospel and then backed up his words by changing a group of people. There’s the church’s appeal: The wisdom of God. The Might of God. The love of God. On display in the lives of a changed people for all the world to see!

Is your church relying on natural appeal or supernatural? Whose glory does it display?”

About Andrew Webb

I was converted out of paganism and the occult in 1993 and while I was initially Charismatic/Arminian in my theology, I became Reformed and Presbyterian through bible study and the influence of ministries like RC Sproul's. After teaching in local bible studies, and taking seminary courses part time, I began to feel called to the ministry in 1997. I was Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in Hatboro, PA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina Presbytery in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor/Church Planter for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor
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2 Responses to Mark Dever Asks a Good Question

  1. Thank you brother for this post. With the plethora of efforts to “redefine” church to accommodate the pressures of contemporary appetities, we sorely need clear voices pointing us back to God’s inerrant Word.

    Our church (PCA) is going through a study in ecclesiology (first time we’ve really done this in small groups) and it’s been an eye-opener and encourager for most and a “gagger” for others (meaning that some, fortunately not too many, are recoiling against orthodox doctrine on gender roles, role of officers, etc).

    I personally find the doctrine of the church absolutely invigorating and thoroughly enjoy seeing us turn to God’s Word for clear direction.

    Men like Dever are doing great work, and I applaud your post today!

  2. We are discussing Exclusive Psalmody over at my blog and I thought you might be interested in lending an opinion.

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