Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches is edited by Thomas White, Jason G. Duesing, and Malcolm B. Yarnell III. This book is a must read for anyone concerned about restoring the biblical identity, value, vitality, and purity of the local church. The authors not only remind us that the local church in both its essence and mission is not a social construct but a spiritual body governed by the New Testament.
Since every believer shares some responsibility in building the local church, it behooves pastors and laymen alike to know and understand the privileges and responsibilities associated with being a follower of Christ and a part of a local body of believers.
The issues and difficulties related to this restoration are approached within a scholarly theological framework as well as with practical sobriety. Often, issues like leading a church to meaningful membership or practicing church discipline are portrayed rather romantically—just do the right thing and all will go well; however, these authors seem well aware of the potential short term cost and patience that is required.
At this time in American Christianity, there may be no issue needing urgent attention more than reconstituting the local church according to the New Testament description of its nature, purpose and constituency. “Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches” is a valuable resource for those looking to return to a biblical foundation for their local church.