Editor’s Note

Journal
09.26.2017

It’s the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and right now there’s no shortage of material being published on the topic. Why might this 9Marks Journal possibly add to the pile?

We asked our contributors to consider the Reformation’s relevance specifically to the local church and the pastor. Why should pastors care? Take a look at D. A. Carson’s piece. What does it have to do with expositional preaching, evangelism, church discipline, church authority more broadly, the ordinances, even pastoral counseling? There are articles on each of these topics, too.

There is, of course, a danger in idealizing the past. Brad Littlejohn’s piece offers a crucial warning. But there might be a greater danger in forgetting it altogether. For instance, Michael Reeves’ piece on expositional preaching quotes John Calvin’s characterization of pre-Reformation sermons. They were filled, says Calvin, with “sweet stories” and “not unamusing speculations” and “only a few expressions . . . thrown in from the Word of God.” That sounds like a decent description of much preaching today, no?

Start, therefore, with Stephen Nichols’ piece. It takes you back in time, and lets you imagine what you might have heard in church the Sunday before Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Door. It’s a snapshot of what the Reformers were responding to—the darkness that prevailed across “Christian” Europe.

Then ask yourself how you might teach your congregation about the Reformation. So far in 2017, Mark Dever has devoted every sermon introduction and conclusion to teaching his church this history. How are you equipping your church with knowledge of the wisdom and folly of the past? If you haven’t been doing this, I’m excited about the wonderful stories and truths your church still gets to learn from those who came before us—like hearing a great symphony for the first time!

—Jonathan Leeman

Related Multimedia

Episode 31: On Race (Part 1)

By Jonathan Leeman, Mark Dever

The Reformation and Your Church

Fall 2017
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Church Mergers and Plants

Summer 2017
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Pastoring Singles

Spring 2017
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Healthy Churches around the World

Fall / Winter 2016
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Authority: God’s Good and Dangerous Gift

Summer/Fall 2016
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The Church Praying

Spring 2016
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Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church

Winter 2016
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Missions: Adding Wisdom to Zeal

Fall 2015
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Multi-Ethnic Churches

Summer/Fall 2015
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Expositional Preaching

Spring 2015
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Complementarianism & the Local Church

Winter 2015
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Vanishing Church?

Fall 2014
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Biblical Theology: Guardian and Guide of the Church

Summer 2014
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The Church Singing

May–June 2014
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Prosperity Gospel

January–February 2014
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Evangelism – Part 2

November–December 2013
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Evangelism – Part 1

September–October 2013
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Is Scripture Enough?

July–August 2013
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Church and Churches

May—June 2013
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Pastoring Christians for the Workplace

March—April 2013
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Lay Elders: A User’s Guide—Part 2

Jan—Feb 2013
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Lay Elders: A User’s Guide – Part 1

November—December 2012
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Discipling in the Church

September—October 2012
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Mercy Ministry in the Church

July—August 2012
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Wanted: Apostolic Pastors

May—June 2012
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The Underestimated Doctrine of Conversion

March—April 2012
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Don’t Be Too Cool for Sunday School

January—February 2012
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Revitalize: Why We Must Reclaim Dying Churches—and How

November—December 2011
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The Pastor and his Staff, Part 2

September—October 2011
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The Pastor and his Staff, Part 1

July—August 2011
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Church Membership: Holding the Body Together

May—June 2011
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Church and Parachurch: Friends or Foes?

March—April 2011
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Pastoral Moves

January—February 2011
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Book Reviews on the Mission of the Church

November—December 2010
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Hell: Remembering the Awful Reality

September—October 2010
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Pastoring Women

July—August 2010
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Deacons

May—June 2010
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A New Evangelical Liberalism

January—February 2010

Church Discipline (Part 2)

November—December 2009

Church Discipline (Part 1)

September—October 2009

Missions

July—August 2009

Multi-site Churches

May—June 2009

Young Pastors

March–April 2009

Raising Up the Next Generation of Pastors

January–February 2009

Counseling in the Church

November–December 2008

Family & Parenting

September–October 2008

Marriage & Pastor’s Wives

July—August 2008

Living As a Church

May–June 2008

Cooperation

March–April 2008

Corporate Prayer

January–February 2008

Church & Culture

November–December 2007

Race and Ethnicity

September—October 2007

The Gospel

July–August 2007

Preaching

May–June 2007

Elders (Part 2)

March–April 2007

Hospitality & Friendship

January 2007

Elders (Part 1)

February 2007

Biblical Theology

November–December 2006

The Church’s Mission

October 2006

The Emerging Church

September 2006

Miscellaneous Articles

December 1999