Church Doctrine and Practice (Revised Edition)

Author: Ken Totton (editor). Paperback, 394 pages, Published by Precious Seed Publications, 34 Metcalfe Avenue, Killamarsh, Sheffield, S21 1HW, UK. ISBN: 978-1-871642-93-3.

This year will see the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of this helpful book, now revised. The fact that the original volume was reprinted in 1971, 1975, 1984, 1999, and 2004 bears some testimony to its lasting value amongst believers.

Bearing this in mind, it is good to see that the editor has retained the bulk of the articles that formed the old edition. The main changes are as follows: the introduction has been removed – one of the articles being moved into the section entitled ‘The Church’ and the other into the section entitled ‘Warnings and Exhortations’; two articles have been removed from the section on unity; one article has been removed from the section on reception and fellowship and one of the articles replaced; three articles have been removed from the section on spiritual gifts and service; the section on pastoral responsibilities has been retitled ‘Elders’ and its scope enlarged; the section entitled ‘God’s Workmen’ has been retitled ‘Service’ and a number of articles added to it; the section entitled ‘Gospel Work’ has been significantly expanded; and a new section entitled ‘Pastoral Topics’ included. The bibliography at the back of the book also contains a list of other publications that the interested reader can source for additional help on the topics covered in the book.

From that brief survey of the changes, it is evident that the editor has sought to develop the book by a slight restructuring of its contents. He has retained what has proved of worth whilst adding in what should have a resonance for the present.

The publisher’s desire is that this revision will provide a reference resource for a new generation, challenging us all to return to or maintain practices that date back to apostolic times. This is material that will build up the Lord’s people, establishing the biblical basis on which they should gather.

This book is highly recommended.