Reverberation by Jonathan Leeman – a review

I received this book as a review copy from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This work was something about which I had heard some time ago, prior to requesting it as a review copy. Leeman is involved with Nine Marks, which is a para-church organization that grew out of the local church ministry of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Nine Marks produces some very high quality resources for the church. The resources are certainly reformed, congregational, and baptistic. Overall, I appreciate what Nine Marks does.

Prior to reading this book I have read articles by Leeman and listened to interviews he has done. He comes across as humble but unwavering in his biblical convictions. In Reverberation he says some very important things about the sufficiency of Scripture. Leeman holds to the doctrines of total depravity, election, and irresistible grace with which I am personally in agreement. As a result of such convictions, Leeman looks at Isaiah 55:10-11 and rightly recognizes that God’s Word always accomplishes His will. At times the Word brings judgment, and other times it brings repentance and salvation. Leeman does not entirely dispose of ministry strategy, architecture, musical style, and attire. But, he does properly regard those things as subordinate to the place God’s Word should have in the church. He continually points to the Holy Spirit’s use of Scripture to bring light, life, and freedom to hearers. Everything else is secondary and should be seen as such. Leeman calls for a proper perspective in local churches.

Jonathan Leeman seeks throughout the remainder of the book to expound the implications and applications of such a Bible-centered life and ministry. The Word reverberates through preaching, teaching, singing, praying, and discipleship. As we study and are taught the Word, it informs how we should think and live. The Word determines what is true and proper for believers. Leeman argues that Scripture should effect everything we do. Our conversations away from church gatherings – in the home, workplace, coffee shop – should be filled with and guided by Spirit-enabled application of God’s Word.

Sadly, this book is extremely necessary today. Leeman communicates nothing ground-breaking, nor does he intend to do so. He writes what genuine believers, who have held to the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, have practiced and called others to do so for almost 2,000 years. It appears to be a battle that must be fought in each generation. This is a quality book and message.

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