Friday, 1 April 2016

9Marks Journal 13, 1 (2016) on Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available here as a pdf and here in other formats, is devoted to the topic of ‘Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church’.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘Yes, Scripture should be a church’s sole authority. But the confessions, covenants, and constitutions of a church articulate what the members agree the Scripture teaches on what they should believe, how they should live, and how they should be governed.

‘Church documents is a prosaic topic, to be sure. But they facilitate unity. They protect a church from being governed by the passions of the moment. And they force a congregation and its leaders to be careful, deliberate, reflective, and, hopefully, biblical. Not bad, for a boring old administrator’s job.

‘To put it another way, church documents are kind. It is kind to tell people what you think up front. It is kind say what you will expect from them or how disagreements will be resolved.

‘Imagine a husband and wife, a year into marriage, realizing they have dramatically different views about commitment and faithfulness because they never bothered with vows. “Ah, that’s just paperwork!” Or, imagine your boss asking you to do one thing when you thought your job was something else because you never had a job description.

‘This is what church documents are for—letting everyone know what their job is, and what covenant faithfulness looks like.’

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