Posted tagged ‘Mark Dever’

Mark Dever on Numbers and Faithfulness

May 30, 2012

I think if we would be honest with ourselves, our default position is to elevate fruitfulness over faithfulness. The two should not be at odds with one another, but when they are, fruitfulness tends to win out. This discussion is one that many are having in evangelical circles today, and I think we need to think it through without making excuses for neglecting either (those not seeing any fruit from their ministry saying all that matters is being faithful, and those with significant fruit saying all that matters is being fruitful).

In light of that, I commend the balanced, wise counsel of Mark Dever regarding the ministerial responsibility to be faithful in discharging the duties of a gospel minister while recognizing that the results belong to God.

Dever, Platt, and Mohler on Church Planting and the SBC

August 12, 2011

IX Marks hosted a panel discussion at the 2011 SBC Annual Meeting where Mark Dever sat down with David Platt and Albert Mohler to talk about the state of the SBC, church planting, and the Cooperative Program.  Check it.

HT: IX Marks Blog

Our Churches Are the Proof of the Gospel

June 17, 2011

Mark Dever:

“Many Protestants have begun to think that because the church is not essential to the gospel, it is not important to the gospel.  This is an unbiblical, false, and dangerous conclusion.  Our churches are the proof of the gospel.  In the gatherings of the church, the Christian Scriptures are read.  In the ordinances of the church, the work of Christ is depicted.  In the life of the church, the character of God himself should be evident.  A church seriously compromised in character would seem to make the gospel itself irrelevant.

The doctrine of the church is important because it is tied to the good news itself.  The church is to be the appearance of the gospel.  It is what the gospel looks like when played out in the lives of people.  Take away the church and you take away the visible manifestation of the gospel in the world.  Christians in churches, then, are called to practice ‘display evangelism,’ and the world will witness the reign of God begun in a community of people made in his image and reborn by his Spirit.  Christians, not just as individuals but as God’s people bound together in churches, are the clearest picture that the world sees of the invisible God and what his will is for them.”

Mark E. Dever, ‘The Church” in A Theology for the Church, edited by Daniel L. Akin (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2007), 836.

The gospel is absolutely essential to the church.
The church is incredibly important to the gospel.

Therefore, the recovery of the gospel is essential to the health of the church, and the importance of the local church is crucial to the advance of the gospel.  May God gives us a passion for churches to be driven by the gospel, and may God grant churches an unrelenting ambition to make it unmistakably visible in our world for the glory of Jesus’ name.

Why Biblical Theology Matters for Church Leaders

May 15, 2011

Dustin Neeley recently sat down with Mark Dever and asked about the importance of biblical theology in the life and work of pastors and church planters. I appreciated Dever’s response.

Dever on Culture

October 13, 2010

Here’s a good, short video clip where Mark Dever speaks on how culture is a reflection of humanity, both in its goodness (imago dei) and in its fallenness (depravity) and how the gospel, rightly proclaimed is both attractive and offensive at the same time.

Mark Dever and Jim Wallis on Gospel and Social Justice

September 7, 2010

Out of Ur has been posting a series of videos where Mark Dever and Jim Wallis, along with Skye Jethani engage the issues of the gospel and social justice.  The matter of justification and justice is a longstanding interest of mine, so I was particularly interested in this discussion.  For the record, I don’t agree with either of them entirely but find myself very close to Dever’s position.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Mark Dever’s Reservations about Cultural Transformation

April 11, 2010

I plan on blogging about this in the near future, but for now I wanted to post a video interview with Ed Stetzer and Mark Dever where they discuss Dever’s 2008 T4G talk about the “largeness” of the gospel.  The differences on defining the gospel among conservative (even Reformed) evangelicals is pretty clear and certainly controversial.  Watch the video and let me know your thoughts.

God Exposed: Awkward Preaching in a Comfortable Age

August 11, 2009

God Exposed HeaderI want to recommend what looks to be an excellent conference on preaching jointly sponsored by SEBTS and IX Marks called God Exposed: Awkward Preaching in a Comfortable Age.  The dates are September 25-26, 2009 and will be held on the campus of Southeastern Seminary.  Conference speakers include Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, and Michael McKinley.  Here is a blurb from the conference website:

God Exposed will call pastors and church leader to embrace and defend expositional preaching as a means to strengthen and grow the church. Expositional preaching – that which has as its aim to explain and apply a particular portion of God’s Word – is especially important in a day when many are abandoning faithfulness to the Scripture in their pulpit ministries. This conference will encourage and train pastors whose primary calling is ministering the Word of God to their people.

Registration for the conference is an affordable $45, and the deadline is September 21, 2009. Below is the conference schedule.  To register for the conference, click here.


8:00a-10:00a | Registration
10:00a-11:30a | Session 1 – Dever
11:30a-12:00p | Sermon Review – Dever, Lawrence, Gilbert, Schmucker
12:00p-2:00p | Lunch
2:00p-3:30p | Session 2 – Akin
3:30p-4:00p | Break
4:00p-5:30p | Session 3 – McKinley
5:30p-7:30p | Dinner
7:30p-8:45p | Session 4 – Mahaney
8:45p-9:30p | Panel Discussion – all speakers


9:00a-10:00a | Session 5 – Anyabwile
10:15a-11:15a | Panel Discussion – all speakers
11:15a-12:30p | Session 6 – Dever
12:30p | Conference ends

The Need for Evangelism by Mark Dever

February 2, 2009

The 2009 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference is in full swing, and I love to have been able to attend.  The next best thing is to follow Abraham Piper (@abrahampiper) and Scott Anderson (@anderson_scott) on Twitter and download the audio just hours after the messages are delivered – for free (I have to include the free part to some of my Southern Baptist friends who are still charging an arm and a leg for conference audio these days – sigh).

The first message by Mark Dever is up. It focuses on the need for evangelism and can be downloaded here.  Also check out the live-blogging notes from the DG blog. Nicely done.

DG Videos: Dever on the Gospel and Evangelism

November 29, 2008

The 2009 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference’s theme is “Commending Christ: The Pastor, the Church, and the Perishing.”  One of the fantastic things about DG conferences are all the media they make available both before and after the conference.  Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, is one of the speakers at the conference, and DG has recently posted several videos of Dever speaking about the gospel and personal evangelism.  Check them out:

The Gospel

The Motive for Evangelism

The Gift of Evangelism

The Difficulty of Doing Evangelism

What It Means to Fail at Evangelism

Creating a Culture of Evangelism

If these videos are helpful to you, you may also want to check out Mark Dever’s book, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Crossway, 2007).

Tolerated Nonattendance Raises Questions

May 29, 2008

Mark Dever has questions–good questions–that I believe warrant our consideration and merit an honest, biblical response.  Regarding the unregenerate state of church membership today, he writes:

A member’s regular, tolerated nonattendance begins to raise further questions.  What kind of leadership must a church have to allow such a misrepresentation to arise and flourish?  What expectations are being communicated to those who are joining?  What discipline is practiced, if any?  In fact, tolerated noninvolvement among members may even call into question the kind of evangelism being done and the church’s understanding of conversion, even of the gospel itself.  Allowing such nonattending members to retain their membership would seem to be such blatant disobedience to Scripture, and such a brazen disregard of the scriptural health of those concerned, that it would even call into question the teaching that brought about such an unhealthy tolerance in the body.

– Mark Dever, “Regaining Meaningful Church Membership” in Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, edited by Thomas White, Jason G. Duesing, and Malcolm B. Yarnell III (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2008), 46.

Dangerous Is the State of Unregenerate Church Membership

May 22, 2008

Mark Dever, in his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, explains how dangerous the perpetuation of unregenerate church membership is for the “inactive” member.  He writes:

If the church is a building, then we must be bricks in it; if the church is a body, then we are its members; if the church is the household of faith, then we are part of that household.  Sheep are in a flock, and branches on a vine.  Biblically, if we are Christians we must be members of a church.  This membership is not simply the record of a statement we once made or of affection toward a familiar place.  It must be a reflection of a living commitment or it is worthless.

Worse than being worthless, it is dangerous.  Uninvolved members confuse both real members and non-Christians about what it means to be a Christian.  We “active” members do the voluntarily “inactive” members no service when we allow them to remain members of the church.  Membership is the church’s corporate endorsement of a person’s salvation.  Yet how can a congregation honestly testify that someone invisible to it is faithfully running the race?

 – Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 162-63. Emphasis mine.

Mark Dever and Acts 29 on Gospel Unity

January 31, 2008

From Mark Dever, speaking this week at the Acts 29 Bootcamp in Chicago:

Our differences are enough to separate some of my friends—your brothers and sisters in Christ—from you. And perhaps to separate them from me, now that I’m publicly speaking to you. And I don’t want to minimize either the sincerity or the seriousness of some of their concerns (things like: humor, worldliness, pragmatism, authority).

But I perceive some things in common which outweigh our differences—which the Lord Jesus shall soon enough compose between us, either by our maturing, or by His bringing us home. I long to work with those, and count it a privilege to work with those whom My Savior has purchased with His blood, and with whom I share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I perceive that we have in common the knowledge that God is glorified in sinners being reconciled to Him through Christ. This is not taught by other religions, nor clearly by the ancient Christian churches of the East, or by Rome, by liberal Protestant churches, by Mormons, the churches of Christ, or by groups of self-righteous, legalistic, moralistic Christians. And not only do we together affirm the exclusivity of salvation through faith alone in Christ alone—we agree on the sovereignty of God in life and salvation, the regenerate nature of church members, the importance of church membership and discipline, the baptism of believers alone, the priorities of expositional preaching, and evangelism, the importance of authority and a growing appreciation for the significance of complementarianism. These are not slight matters. And they only fire my desire to encourage you and cheer you on, until you cross that finish line that the Lord lays down for us.

When I first read this, I immediate thought of the man who said that “moderation is the heart of Christianity” – Richard Sibbes. But more importantly, what I read here is someone who does not wear “Together for the Gospel” as a slogan or bumper sticker advertisement; rather, he willingly gives himself to invest in others for the sake of the kingdom even at the expense of his reputation and even long-standing friendships. Finally, I find in this statement a resounding conviction in the unity of the church around the gospel and the glory of God–something for which Jesus interceded on our behalf.

This is not to say that there are differences between solid evangelical Christians who stand on the sole authority of God’s Word. Differences there will be, but those that lay on the periphery should not cloud our vision to appreciate that which we hold most dear–that which we are solemnly entrusted–the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am ever hopeful that others can find such gospel-centered partnerships as a pattern of greater things to come. May God put in our hearts a mutual affection for our Savior and a reciprocating resolve to neither wane nor wander away from the heart of the Christian faith.

Soli Deo Gloria.

(HT :: JT)

Interview with Mark Dever on Richard Sibbes

January 21, 2008

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to interview Mark Dever on the life and ministry of Richard Sibbes. As you will find while searching the internet, there are several interviews of Dever on a number of issues, but I am not aware of any specifically focused on his doctoral dissertation, Richard Sibbes: Puritanism and Calvinism in Late Elizabethan and Early Stuart England. I am not one to do many interviews, but I thought this was a great time to approach Dever regarding his expert knowledge of Richard Sibbes, whose sermons (which comprise The Bruised Reed) we are reading. I want to say a special thanks to Tony (King Kummer) who came over to assist with the technical aspects of the interview (and for laughing at me throughout).

The questions I asked Dever include:

* Why Sibbes?
* On Friendships
* On Assurance
* How Sibbes Personally Impacted Dever’s Life
* On the Works, Which Piece You Recommend Next
* On Ecclesiology, Moderation, and WWSD (What Would Sibbes Do?)
* Chief Theological Contribution of Sibbes
* Sibbes the Affection Theologian and Jonathan Edwards
* Words of Encouragement and Advice to Those Reading for 1st Time

Listen or download my interview with Mark Dever:

Interview with Mark Dever on Richard Sibbes

Let me know what you think or if there is anything you want to discuss.