Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons by Thabiti Anyabwile (Book Review #75 of 2015)

Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons (9Marks)

I read this little book as part of a men's leadership retreat at my church where the pastor was working to get everyone on the same page in regards to appointing elders and deacons. Anyabwile gets major points for succinctness. Each chapter is short and to-the-point. He goes verse-by-verse in the relevant sections of 1 Timothy and Titus making points and closing each chapter with a set of questions that are useful for evaluating someone for these offices. 

Thousands of little books and tracts on this subject have been written over the centuries, but this one wins serious points for staying on-point with the biblical text, not drifting too far into what the Bible doesn't say, and being easy to read. Anyabwile isn't writing this book out of 30+ years of pastoral experience, much of it comes from his time under Mark Dever and other elders at Capitol Hill Baptist. 

I felt there was some weakness in looking at the roles and actions Stephen and Philip in Acts who clearly were able to teach and evangelize despite maybe being considered a type of deacon but do not appear to have been elders or apostles. Anyabwile also leaves out examples of various' churches nuanced approach to deacons and the various titles. For example, Capitol Hill has titled "deacon" and "deaconess" people who may just be called "librarian" or "treasurer" or "ministry leader" in other churches. Anyabwile doesn't mention that, I think it would be interesting to much of his readership (who I assume to be mostly traditional Southern Baptists with different polity than is suggested in this text). 

Essential to the IX Marks library for your church. 4.5 stars.

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