A Well Ordered Church: Laying a Foundation for a Vibrant Church
by William Boekestein and Daniel R. Hyde
This is a book that deals with something that Jesus loves so much that he died for her, that is the church. While I don’t expect to see this on any best sellers list soon, it will benefit those who read it. As a Baptist I didn’t agree with all the authors conclusions but am grateful for their robust defense of a reformed (continental) church government and practice. I would recommend anyone interested in what a church ought to look like to pick this book up and read it.
First this book is under 200 pages and has enough size to make it a great introductory level work on the order and practice of the church. It is long enough to introduce you to topics such as pluarality of elders, dialogical principle, regulative principle, ordinary means of grace, church discipline, etc. without bogging the reader down with too much detail. It also give recommended reading at the end of each chapter where the reader can be directed if he wants to dive deeper into any one category. This makes this book the perfect size book to hand to church members who will read something this length or study in a small group. The book also includes study questions which lends itself to be used with ease in a small group discussion.
The book also sets up firm foundations for the importance of the church with her relation to her head, Christ Jesus. This beginning of the book is crucial for all the rest of the book, we may work out the applications differently but this foundation is where we must all start.
There is nothing bad in the book, but as a Baptist I disagree with their conclusions on some things. This is not a problem with the book because they write out the tradition of the three forms of unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Cannons of Dort). While not falling with in the confessional heritage I do appreciate their robust working out of their heritage. And actually recently published is An Orthodox Catechism by Hercules Collins which is the Baptist version of the Heidelberg Catechism which I am on board with. My only desire would be to see this same type of work published by Reformed Baptist who would argue for church government in line with the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith.
If you are interested in the subject this is a good starting point especially for those in reformed or Presbyterian churches.
Publisher: Evangelical Press
Endnotes or Footnotes: Endnotes
Scripture index: yes
Confessions index: yes
Subject Index: no
Persons Index: no
Recommended reading : Yes