It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (oops), so I’m going to load you up today with some excerpts and thoughts from Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll dealing with church unity, discipline, & love.
I found that the chapter on church unity was an interesting read as it discussed both the unifying factors in the church but also many causes of division within the church. A lot of this deals with the improper use of “open hand” and “closed hand” items of the faith and methodology. This chapter is going to be worth a re-read. Here is one paragraph that I particularly like:
“The problem with some churches and their leaders is that they won’t fight, and the problem with others is that they won’t stop fighting. The key is to fight for what pertains most essentially to the person and work of Jesus with the humbly loving courage that the gospel requires” (p 142).
Concerning church discipline, anyone involved in church leadership should certainly read this chapter. This chapter deals with discipline within the church itself rather than between individual believers (one area that I wish was touched as well within the chapter). It lays out some great principles and guidelines for Biblical church discipline. As the chapter states, “The question is not whether people will sin against one another, but rather how they will deal with that sin” (p 165).
The chapter on love expressed in the church was very long and centers around the thought, “In 1 John 4:8 the Bible plainly states that ‘God is love.’ Subsequently, to understand love as the Scripture speaks of it, we must begin with the Trinitarian God who is the source and ultimate example of love” (p 190). I must admit that the sun was getting hot, my coffee was getting cold (and empty), and as a result my mind was beginning to wander so I did not give the chapter the thorough read that it deserves. From my skimming, it does look like a chapter worth outlining and studying.