“Is This a Sin?”: Ethical Triage and Church Discipline

By Andrew T. Walker | 10.02.2019

When it comes to ethical conflicts facing local churches, we need to carefully distinguish categories of “may” (permissible), “should/should not” (advisable), and “must” (obligatory).

A Tale of Two Baptist Associations

By Geoff Chang | 09.23.2019

Let me tell you the tale of two Baptist associations.

What Did the Cross Achieve?: The Logic of Penal Substitution

By J. I. Packer | 9Marks Journal: The Heart of the Gospel: Penal Substitutionary Atonement | 08.20.2019

The task which I have set myself in this lecture is to focus and explicate a belief which, by and large, is a distinguishing mark of the word-wide evangelical fraternity: namely, the belief that the cross had the character of penal substitution, and that it was in virtue of this fact that it brought salvation to mankind.

3 Ways Baptism & the Lord’s Supper Ought to Shape our Monday through Saturday

By Sam Emadi | 08.12.2019

For too many Christians, baptism and the Supper are exclusively about personal professions of faith, and personal expression of one’s obedience to Jesus.

Confessing Sin Is Always Awkward, Sometimes Costly, and Absolutely Worth It

By John Lee | 07.22.2019

It’s true. Confession could cost your reputation. It could result in an awkward conversation. But freedom in the gracious, holy light of God is priceless.

Mailbag #86: Considering the Danger, Should Muslim-Background Believers Be Baptized . . . My Friends Who Want to Be Pastors Think Polity Is Boring. How Can I Help Them?

By A. Menikoff, A. Duty | 07.12.2019

— Should we encourage Muslim-background believers to be baptized, even when it endangers their lives? — My friends want to be pastors. But they have no interest in polity. How can I help them see its importance?

7 Well-Meaning Objections to Church Discipline — And How Pastors Ought to Respond to Them

By C. Greggsen, S. Emadi | 07.05.2019

Let’s briefly consider some of the “good-faith” objections to discipline we’ve encountered and how we try to help church members understand the theological principles undergirding discipline.

Two Reasons a Church Shouldn’t Have Multiple Gatherings

By Kyle Schwahn | 07.01.2019

I’ve pastored my church for over twelve years. We’ve always had two morning services, and I never gave them much thought. Until . . .

Are Healthy Churches Enough

Episode 92: Are Healthy Churches Enough for Today’s Problems?

By J. Leeman, M. Dever | 06.17.2019

Our world is full of problems. But what can healthy churches do about it?

Why “Belonging Before Believing” Is (Usually) a Bad Idea

Why “Belonging Before Believing” Is (Usually) a Bad Idea

By Brian Davis | 05.29.2019

Belonging before believing is usually a bad idea because it tries to turn the body of Christ into a kind of Frankenstein, attaching dead parts to what’s meant to be fully alive.

Baptism & Membership

Episode 89: On Baptism and Church Membership (with Ligon Duncan)

By J. Leeman, L. Duncan, M. Dever | 05.28.2019

Credobaptists and paedobaptists don’t agree on what baptism is, but they both agree that it must precede church membership.

Episode 87 - On Church Membership

Episode 87: On Church Membership

By J. Leeman, M. Dever | 9Marks Journal: Church Membership: Following the Lord Together | 05.14.2019

In this episode of Pastors’ Talk, Jonathan chats with Mark about our new Journal—Church Membership: Following the Lord Together.

Metaphors and Membership: How Biblical Metaphors for the Church Require Church Membership

By Sam Emadi | 9Marks Journal: Church Membership: Following the Lord Together | 05.07.2019

If you’re looking for the words “thou shalt be a church member” in Scripture, you won’t find them. But if that troubles you, let me encourage you to think a little differently about how to arrive at biblical conclusions.

Church Membership Is an Office and a Job

By Jonathan Leeman | 9Marks Journal: Church Membership: Following the Lord Together | 05.07.2019

Church membership is an office, too. It’s a job that comes with authority and responsibility.

Youth and Church Membership—Or, Stop Baptizing Children into the Ether

By Alex Duke | 9Marks Journal: Church Membership: Following the Lord Together | 05.07.2019

A church should not baptize young people apart from church membership. To do so is unbiblical, unhelpful, and unloving.