Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God. By Bobby Jamieson. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.
In our day when doctrine is often viewed as boring, divisive, irrelevant, or even more tragic, just simply non-existent, Jamieson's call for churches to give due attention and thereby reap the long-term gains of sound doctrine is like a breath of fresh air!
As part of the 9Marks series of books for "Building Healthy Churches", SD reminds pastors and leaders how doctrine underpins everything in the life of a church. Whether your church directly affirms doctrinal distinctives, quietly affirms doctrinal distinctives, or purports to have no doctrinal distinctives, doctrine will inform and shape each and every congregation. Therefore, as shepherds of God's flock, we should strive to feed, nourish, and grow the people of God on healthy, biblical, sound doctrine.
Jamieson defines sound doctrine as "a summary of the Bible's teaching that is both faithful to the Bible and useful for life" (p.17) Doctrine, then, is how we articulate and apply Scripture to life and faith. Jamieson demonstrates in the opening chapters how doctrine touches all aspects of church life and especially informs how we read and teach the Bible. Both of those points are not to be overlooked too quickly. We don't "do" church or "read" Scripture in a vacuum. We do so from a standpoint, a perspective, underneath of which stands a doctrinal view or presupposition. That underpinning doctrinal viewpoint gets translated into how we interpret and apply Scripture. It is imperative then that we keep allowing Scripture to inform and correct and shape our views into the Bible's view in all matters of life and salvation.
In the remaining chapters, Jamieson demonstrates from Scripture how sound doctrine produces holiness, love, unity, worship, witness, and in the postscript, joy. The very virtues we hope to see flow in our own lives and in the lives of our fellow believers are directly linked to the amount and the kind of doctrinal intake, or diet, we are exposed to.
Doctrine is far from boring; it's essential to living!
The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters. By Albert Mohler. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2012. Every pastor, elder, and evangelical leader should read this book. We need to hear Mohler's message. Leadership is not...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The Kind of Preaching God Blesses. By Steven J. Lawson. Eugene: Harvest House, 2013. Pastors and preachers face constant pressures, both self-inflicted and from various external influences. These forces push and pull against declaring and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology. Ed. Burk Parsons. Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2008. Unfortunately, many people who have heard the name John Calvin have only one thought attached to this giant historical figure:...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Fear Not! Death and the Afterlife from a Christian Perspective. By Ligon Duncan, with J. Nichols Reid. Scotland: Christian Focus, 2008. I have a confession to make. Eternity frightens me. I know it shouldn’t. I don’t know why it...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Finish the Mission: Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged. By John Piper and David Mathis, eds. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012. Finish the Mission is a call for every believer to be involved at some level, in some way, in completing the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I am pleased to let you know about my most recent book, Wonders in the Word.The title comes from Psalm 119:18, which says, "Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law." God's Word is a storehouse of practical wisdom, profound...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
All Loves Excelling: The Saints' Knowledge of Christ's Love. By John Bunyan. Banner of Truth: Carlisle, 1692, 1998. All Loves Excelling is an exposition of part of Paul's prayer for the Ephesians recorded in Eph 3:18-19. He prays the believers...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Is God Anti-gay?: And Other Questions about Homosexuality, the Bible, and Same Sex Attraction. By Sam Allberry. The Goodbook Company: UK, NA, 2013. There is no doubt in my mind that the issue of our day is homosexuality, and there is equally no...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander. By Phil Robertson. The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty. By Willie and Korie Robertson. And the Mountains Echoed. By Khaled Hosseini. A Tale of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]