The first chapter of Mark Dever's important book The Church is available on-line HERE.
"I’m not sure that I know anyone who has read more on ecclesiology, from the
whole breadth of Christian tradition, than Mark Dever. So, his exegesis is not
done in isolation but in conversation with twenty centuries of Christian
thinking. As a Presbyterian, I would encourage non-Baptists and
non-Congregationalists to read and engage with Mark's work, not only because it
is so well done, biblical, and helpful, but also because of a huge evangelical
blind spot the book addresses. Ecclesiology is indisputably one of
evangelicalism’s great weaknesses, in part because of subjectivism,
individualism, and pragmatism. Mark offers a robust corrective to this, and even
where you may disagree you will find yourself edified and instructed. Mark
approaches this subject not simply as a skilled historical theologian and
systematician, but also as a local church pastor who has fostered a vital and
healthy embrace of biblical polity in his own congregation, with happy results.
He is no ‘dry-land sailor’ or impractical theoretician but a faithful shepherd.
The growth and life and fruitfulness of his flock testify to this."
Ligon Duncan, Senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson,