Adorned—How to grow a Biblically beautiful church: An exegesis of Titus 2

Justin HuffmanSKU: A6165 ISBN: 9781846256165



What makes a local church healthy? What doctrines or practices are foundational to a healthy church? What role, if any, does preaching play? Do good works alone make a church healthy? This topic is as old as the New Testament church, and the answers given have contradicted each other since the New Testament era.
In this book, Justin Huffman addresses the question using Titus 2 as a lens
through which to find the biblical answer. By bringing to bear the authority and
sufficiency of Scripture in relation to the topic of church health, he frames a
biblical paradigm for local church ministry.

About the Author:

Justin Huffman is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, speaker and author—and
thankful to God for each. A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, he has pastored in the USA for over fifteen years. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, Third Millennium and elsewhere. He blogs at Justin has been married for over twenty years to Chau, and they have four children.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
Peter Murcott

This is an exegesis of Paul's epistle to Titus, whom Paul left in Crete with a clear commission. It concerns the nature of a healthy Church, which essentially requires the preaching of sound doctrine so as to commend sound practices. The two are interrelated. Thus what occurs outside the Church, that is, the example and the conduct of believers, should reflect what is taught within it. At an early stage, the author illustrates an "adorning" by way of a flower showing how the "Biblically Beautiful Church" may be perceived. The starting point is the root, being the faithful teaching from God's Word, rooted in the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore Scripture is the source of all authoritative teaching from which the flower grows. The flower is supported by a stem. So it is from true faith in Jesus Christ that all good works stem, through which sound instruction flows. The Gospel is at the centre from which good works radiate - symbolised by the petals, whose beauty adorn the Gospel on which they depend. This is an image that can be easily remembered. It recalls what Christ Jesus said about a good tree along bringing forth good fruit, with the tree's nature being discerned by the fruit that it yields. We read in Scripture of works of righteousness. These occur only where they are rooted in holiness, which brings us back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being the Person in whom alone true righteousness is found. The underlying foundation of this book is solidly Biblical.

Nathan Pomeroy Nottingham
Adorned - How to grow a biblically beautiful Church

Justin Huffman is an American pastor who trained at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has written this short and easy-to-read book to encourage Churches to be healthy. The book draws out lessons from the 2nd chapter of Titus and systematises them into a memorable and logical structure. It is not a commentary but rather is concerned to show that 'Titus 2 contains a summary overview of life in a healthy local church'. He uses a helpful illustration of a flower. Each chapter teaches one major truth for a healthy church and is represented by a part of the flower. The personal authority of Jesus is the soil that the flower grows from: life for the church does not come from efficient business organisation strategies, but from Jesus Christ. The roots of the flower must be in the absolute authority of the Word of God. The stem of the flower is the authoritative preaching of the Word. The last 2 chapters describe the flower itself. The centre of the flower is the Church believing the gospel, and the petals radiating out from sound gospel convictions represent the full-orbed godliness of the church. This end has to deal with the vast majority of the actual text of Titus: both personal godliness and the importance of mentoring. 'It becomes a priority for every Church to facilitate the training and opportunities needed for effective life-on-life discipleship' It also emphasises the importance of godliness in the home 'so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour'.

Pastor Thomas Allen, Free Grace Baptist, Kent
Body Beautiful

We are living in a day when pragmatism often informs the order of the Church, as opposed to the Scriptures. Well-meaning people are governed more by emotion than the truth, once for all delivered to the saints. The church is too often shaped by worldly desires as opposed to the Bible, putting all the emphasis on programmes and structure rather than true knowledge and experience of Christ. We therefore need accessible books which unpack, for the layman and not just pastors, the Bible's teaching on what an ordered and healthy church is.
Justin dismisses modern ideologies of the so-called marks that 'prove' a church is healthy and alive. From Titus 2 he unpacks the often overlooked, yet biblical, criteria for a healthy Church and for Christian living. The drum beat of the book is that only sound doctrine produces healthy Christians and healthy churches. But how many churches evidence this belief in their practice? He urges us to see that, if the church loses sight of correct doctrine, it will inevitably damage us. However, Justine clearly emphasises that sound doctrine alone is not enough to create and sustain healthy churches. He expresses the importance of sound doctrine lived out and demonstrated, Simply put, we need more than the form of godliness, but the power of godliness. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to pastors to distribute within their churches so that they can be further helped to understand what lies at the heart of godliness and a healthy church.

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