Matthew 18 is Not Instructive for Book Reviews, But Much of the New Testament Is

The Aquila Report | 4/25/2019 | Staff
But Matthew 18 is not the instructive context, nor the motive, for a public response to a publicly proclaimed message. Rather, a book review or similar public response is for the purpose of protecting, warning, and equipping the wider body of Christ. It’s an effort to carry out Paul’s instruction to the Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

“Did you contact the author privately before you posted the review?”

Question - Times - Couple - Weeks - Review

I’ve received this question several times over the last couple weeks, following my review of Rachel Hollis’s most recent book, Girl, Stop Apologizing. The question invokes the well-known, but oft-misunderstood, church discipline passage in Matthew 18:15-20.

The wider context of Matthew 18 is that Jesus is teaching his disciples how to function in a local church. The NIV Application Commentary on Matthew says that here Jesus “enunciates four steps for dealing with a sinning member of the discipleship community” (p618, emphasis mine). These verses are meant to instruct a local church body in confronting a specific person’s widely unknown sin. The commentary says, the encounter should be “undertaken with privacy, so that if it is resolved, no undue attention will be given to the tragedy or sin committed by a member of the community” (p 618).

Jesus - Passage - Brother - Others - Matthew

As you likely know, Jesus goes on to say in this passage, “if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you” (Matthew 18:15-16) and then, “if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Aquila Report
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