Christ Loved the Church
William MacDonald, San Fernando, USA
Paperback, 108pp. Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly Street West, Port Colborne, ON, Canada L3K 6A6. Price £6.99 ISBN 978-1-897117-60-6
The author of this little book shows himself to be firmly committed to the New Testament’s teaching on the church universal and local and believes that these principles hold good for the twenty-first century.
The book consists of seventeen chapters which divide into two sections: chapters 1-9 cover the essential principles, while chapters 10-16 deal with their application in the life of the local church. A final chapter is an exhortation to the reader to put this teaching into practice in today’s hostile world. The chapters are concise, easy to read and understand and their tone is Christ-exalting. As the author states, ‘The general approach will be to review the great unchangeable verities concerning the church universal, and to show how each local assembly is responsible to witness to these truths in life and practice’. Appropriately, at the very beginning of the book, there is a timely word of caution that correctness of church position must never be divorced from correctness of condition.
Although the book is relatively short, the writer has managed to cover a great deal of ground. Having offered a definition of the church universal and local and having succinctly described the relationship between the two, he deals with the truth of the one body, the headship of Christ, reception into the assembly, the Holy Spirit in the church, discipline, the proclamation of the gospel, and the priesthood of all believers. Scripture references encourage the reader to go back to the word of God in order to confirm the teaching. The practical chapters cover baptism, the Lord’s supper, the prayer meeting, elders, deacons, finance, and the ministry of sisters. Works on these subjects are not always free from the noise of ‘grinding axes’. This book, however, is thoroughly scripture-based. It is a book which may act as a primer for young believers or a revision course for others. It is largehearted in its approach while holding firmly to the New Testament.
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, UK, for this review]