Paperback, 96pp. Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ. Price £5.00 ISBN 978-1-84625-125-8.
It is unusual to find a book entirely devoted to the subject of church discipline. Stephen McQuoid is to be commended for not only dealing with such a difficult subject but also for doing so in a sensitive and comprehensive way.
In five very readable chapters, he considers the necessity for order in the house of God and the problems this can present in a society where there are few absolutes respecting standards of conduct, and a prevailing attitude that each individual is accountable to none but himself. Three basic principles governing discipline are drawn from the Old Testament. The writer deals with God’s ways with men as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, principles carried over into the New Testament. He states that these are manifest in a process moving from sin, through discipline, to restoration, the writer asserting that not only shepherds of the flock but, in light of the priesthood of all believers, every member of a local church has responsibility in this matter. A chapter is devoted to ‘Preventative Discipline’ and the importance of systematic Bible teaching and pastoral care. Attention is given to ‘Corrective Discipline’ considering when it is necessary, the attitude to be adopted and the pattern to be followed in the administration of it. The book concludes with four ‘case studies’ to illustrate the problems that can arise in contemporary situations and the lessons to be learned from them.
All scripture quotations are from the NIV. Not all readers will totally agree with all the writer says relative to the pattern of local church government and gatherings nor with all the conclusions he draws respecting discipline. However, one fears that few believers really appreciate what is involved in assembly discipline, the spirit in which it should be carried out and the issues to be considered before it is implemented. This book seeks to address that deficiency and, as such, it deserves a wide circulation and is highly recommended.
[Our thanks to Richard Catchpole, South Norwood, London, UK, for this review]
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