A Call to Reformation: Chapter 2, The Church

Much of evangelicalism seems to have a "take it or leave it" attitude to the Church. For some, regular attendance at a parachurch meeting counts as church membership. Is this a legitimate approach to being the bride of Christ? Acknowledging that believing Christians disagree on the nature of the church, I am convinced that there is a way to be and do church that is most biblical. That’s what I try to defend in this chapter, titled, "Being the Church the Biblical, Baptist Way: How and Why Baptists ‘Do Church.’" Here’s an outline of the chapter’s contents:

I. Baptist, Why Bother?

II. Church Leadership in the New Testament

A. A Plurality of Elders Who Are Equals

B. Deacons Who Serve

III. The Two Primary Baptist Distinctives

A. Believer’s Baptism by Immersion

B. Regenerate Church Membership

IV. Trying To "Do Church" Like the New Testament Churches

A. Congregationalism and Elders Who Lead

B. Church Discipline

C. Can Anybody Here Count?

D. Local Church Autonomy

V. Why Bother with the SBC?

May the Lord work in us what pleases him, that his bride might stand unblemished before him!

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for letting me know. I’m able to download it from the blogsite, but I don’t know if that might be because the document is on my computer.

    If you continue to have trouble, shoot me an email jhamilton@swbts.edu and I’ll send you the PDF doc.

    Thanks! Jim

  2. Jim,
    I couldn’t get it either and I’m interested in this ecclesiology! I’m at CUA right now working on such issues and realize that it is a difficult issue biblically and historically.

  3. Okay I reposted the pdf doc on the site where it’s posted, then I fixed the hyperlink to go there.

    If this still doesn’t work, I don’t know what to do. When I click the link on the blog (I right click to open it in a new window), it opens an adobe window then opens the document in another window.

    If you can’t get it to work, please email me and I’ll attach it to an email and send it to you.



  4. At first I had trouble opening it – when I clicked on the link my computer opened it up in Notepad – no words, just symbols. So I right clicked, saved it to my desktop, then selected Adobe Reader as the program to use and it opened it!

    This is great, Jim. Thanks for putting all of this in writing and making it available to us.


  5. Jim,
    It appears you’re missing the pdf extension (.pdf) for the file download. When I downloaded in Opera8 it saved without an extension. I added .pdf to the file name and it opens ok.


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