Subscribe now


Bible-centred church

By John Temple
January 2014 | Review by Richard Atherton
  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-84625-433-8
  • Pages: 144
  • Price: 7.00

Book Review

Bible-centred church

John Temple
Day One, 144 pages, £7.00
ISBN: 978-1-84625-433-8

This is a book for elders or anyone with leadership responsibilities within a church. Many such may baulk at the prospect of reassessing their church’s governance, but all will benefit from the advice offered by this book.

Temple begins by suggesting five levels of biblical guidance: precepts, principles, precedents, guidelines and freedoms. The practices advocated in the book are justified with reference to one or more of these levels.

For example, he describes principles as, ‘biblical laws aimed at the local church and which must be observed by every church in all ages’ (pp.23-24).

The longest chapter covers the role of elders, while others focus on deacons and the congregation. Other aspects of church life addressed include meetings and ministries.

The book is wonderfully thought-provoking. You may not agree with his view on a particular matter, but Temple certainly makes you think. For example, he states that whereas a deacon fulfils a biblical office, the Bible nowhere envisages a diaconate. Instead, elders head the various ministries of the church, assisted by one or more individual deacons and team members, leaving little room for a diaconate.

A great virtue of the book is its brevity: 114 pages, plus appendices that include a suggested constitution. Busy church officers would be tackling only a slim volume.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The book will be worthless if it does not assist office bearers to change the way their church is governed. Those engaged in church planting, or involved in a church with a new pastor after a long interregnum, or connected with a church entering a new phase of its life, would also benefit from reading.

Elders need all the biblical help they can get in these challenging times. This will help an eldership reassess its leadership role in the light of Scripture.

Richard Atherton


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Christian and Technology
John V. Fesko

Even the most hardened Luddite will find himself using a satnav, mobile phone, or email on occasion. But John Fesko urges us not to reach for the latest gadget without thinking carefully about how it might shape our minds, relationships,…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Christ Victorious: Selected Writings of Hugh Martin
Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin (1822–1885) was one of those 19th century Scottish theologians whose published works have stood the test of time. With good reason, for his works are consistently sound, reverent, edifying, and challenging to mind and heart. This is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…