Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Review of Loving The Church by John Crotts

Ecclesiology 101
What You Need To Know About The Church

A review of
John Crotts Loving The Church (Wapwallopen, PA: Shepherd Press, 2010)
138 pp $13.95 ISBN: 978-0-9824387-4-9

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

This book is an ecclesiology 101 course presented to any individual or family trying to decide which church to join. After first establishing that the church is an essential feature of the christian life, not an option, the author proceeds to set forth from Scripture the criteria by which one can determine which churches are to be regarded as authentic. While there have been debates concerning certain ecclesiological matters, for the most part the Scriptural position is clear as to what the church is supposed to be and do. The problem is that so many churches have deviated from these Biblical criteria.
Crotts advises his readers not to join a defective church with the goal of trying to straighten it out. Rather, he advises us to join a church which meets the Biblical standards. If there is no such church nearby, Crotts recommends that we either work with some likeminded brethren to establish an authentic church nearby or else to move to where an authentic church already exists. And he exhorts us to make our decision concerning church membership a matter of careful thinking and prayer, and to seek godly counsel for this decision. Church membership must be regarded as a very serious thing.
The book has a very interesting format. Each chapter begins with the members of a coffee klatsch discussing a problem they are having with their churches. The rest of the chapter then seeks to provide answers for the problem.
Because this book provides only an elementary treatment of these matters, the author adds a final chapter conssisting of a list of books he recommends for additional study. The one which I found to be of greatest interest and which is probably the one of greatest relevance is Mark Dever's 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, which is a book I have been intending to read for a long time and a book whose principles are becoming widely known in Reformed circles. We need books like those of Dever and Crotts to learn of all the marks of a true church, which are many more than the old Reformed notion that the only marks of the church were the preaching of right doctrine and right administration of the sacraments.
Crotts has written this book in the same style as his marriage book. It is practical and easy to read and understand and is addressed to all christians. And, as the title and subtitle indicate, its purpose is to promote the right kind of involvement in the right kind of churches so that the believer will come to love the church and to flourish within it. The church is not to be regarded as an organization to be run, but as God's family, a highly personal community in which we live and of which we are a vital and integral part. In short, living in community with other christians is an essential feature of the life of a christian, not something in addition to it. When this is realized in our lives, we will come to experience the joy God has intended for us to have.
Information on the author, John Crotts, is available on his author's page on and on his church website www.faithbiblechurch,us.


Post a Comment

<< Home