While we are working on our own resource to help people think through the whole idea of church, called the Naked Church, here are some things that we have found helpful as we wrestle with church, we don’t agree with everything that everyone has said, but they have been helpful for us to know the right questions to ask.

Theology of Church
A gold mine of great material from all over the place.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 2, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960).

Ed Clowney, The Church (Illinois: IVP, 1995).

Michael Griffiths, Cinderella with Amnesia (London: IVP, 1975)

D. Broughton Knox, Selected Works: Church and Ministry, ed. Kirsten Birkett, vol. 2, 3 vols. (Kingsford: Matthias Media, 2003).

David Peterson, “The Locus of the Church: Heaven or Earth,” The Theologian,

P. T. O’Brien, “The Church as a Heavenly and Eschatological Entity,” in Church in the Bible and the World (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1987), 88-119. (In fact this is so good, you can download it, if there is only one thing you read this is it!!) PTOB on Church

Practice of Church
Heaps of good stuff, both audio and video including a lot of training from the Total Church guys, see below

Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2004).

Mark Dever and Paul Alexander, The Deliberate Church: Building your Ministry on the Gospel (Illinois: Crossway, 2005).

Mark Driscoll, On Church Leadership, A book you’ll actually read (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2008).

Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, Vintage Church (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2008).

Eddie Gibbs and Coffey, Church Next: Quantum Changes in Christian Ministry (Leicester: IVP, 2001).

Tim Keller and J. Allen Thompson, Church Planter Manual (New York: Redeemer Church Planting Center, 2002).

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1995).

Evangelism as a Community–discussions/
This is NOT us, but some friends with the same name who have done a lot of thinking about the idea of of evangelism as a community.

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church (Leicester: IVP, 2007).

Neil Cole, Organic Church: Growing Faith where Life Happens (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005).


Jim Collins, Good to Great (New York: Random House, 2001).

Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors (Jim Collins, 2005).

Patrick Lencioni, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (The Leadership Summit, 2003).


2 thoughts on “Influences

  1. Would you say putting together for MYC’s ‘To Believe, To Belong’ influenced a lot of your thoughts on the church Pete? Or did these readings influence how you put together the seminar?

    I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve read and think that it was the seminars on the church you explored with us at UTS Kuring-gai’s Christian Students group, that I was able to more clearly grasp my views of what a church should and shouldn’t look like, according to the the teachings of the Bible.

    I am looking forward to the freedom in Christ we have to make Soma relevant to our society and thank you for the opportunities you have encouraged us to seek in having conversations with friends and loved ones about their views of the church.

    1. I would say that “To believe, to belong” was one stage of my thinking. I had read about half of these books by then but had formed a lot of my thinking from the BIble already. “The Naked Church” will be a more full explanation of doctrine of church (and probably available as an online book soon…watch this space)!!

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