Awakening Affection for the Beauty of God’s Church
Dear. Precious. Lovely. The Bible describes the church in extraordinary ways, even using beautiful poetry and metaphors. How does this compare to how Christians today describe the church? Unfortunately, many believers focus more on its mission, structure, or specific programs than on its inherent beauty. It’s time to spark a renewed affection for the church.
In The Loveliest Place, Dustin Benge urges Christians to see the holy assembly of God’s redeemed people in all its eternal beauty. He explains what makes the church lovely, including the Trinitarian relationship, worship, service, and gospel proclamation. For those who have never learned to view the church as God sees it, or have become disillusioned by its flaws, this book is a reminder that the corporate gathering of believers is a reflection of God’s indescribable beauty.
This is the third book in the Union series, which invites readers to experience deeper enjoyment of God through four interconnected values: delighting in God, growing in Christ, serving the church, and blessing the world.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: You Are Beautiful
Chapter 2: The Household of God
Chapter 3: Our Father and Friend
Chapter 4: Our Savior and Head
Chapter 5: Our Helper and Beautifier
Chapter 6: A Pillar and Buttress of Truth
Chapter 7: In Spirit and Truth
Chapter 8: Shepherding the Flock
Chapter 9: Feeding the Flock
Chapter 10: Good News
Chapter 11: In Remembrance
Chapter 12: Walking Worthy
Chapter 13: Blessed Persecution
Chapter 14: We Are One
“Dustin Benge provides us with an absolute gem—a beautiful condensation of all that is good about the local church. With ease of prose, Benge introduces us to the multicolored facets of what the church is and how she functions to grow us into the people of God. A marvelous read.”
Derek W. H. Thomas, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries; Chancellor’s Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary
“The true and faithful church is the beautiful bride of Christ. In the experience of reading this refreshing treatment, all who love the church will rejoice in the realization of her beauty. Many people are concerned about how the world views the church. The world will never have the right perspective until the church itself sees her beauty. Surely this is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that he desired to present the church as a chaste virgin to Christ. This book is a much-needed gift to the people of God.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; Chancellor, The Master’s University and Seminary
“This is a rich reflection upon the nature of the church. Benge rightly shows us the way the church is viewed from heaven and from the eschaton. If we could only grasp the glorious beauty of the church in the light of these two perspectives, the negativity that too often crosses our lips and permeates our minds about the triune God’s beloved would be replaced with wonder and awe. Warmly recommended.”
Michael A. G. Haykin, Chair and Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“A little more than a decade ago I said I’d never seen such a profound unity in the church. What has happened? Leadership failures, unresolved conflicts, high-profile apostasies, political division, social upheaval, a global pandemic, theological controversy, and more. Is greater church unity possible again? Of course it is, but any movement toward unity must be dependent on the Holy Spirit and based on God’s truth. May the Lord use The Loveliest Place, in which Dustin Benge faithfully sets forth the glories of God’s truth about the church, to rebuild our unity.”
Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Do you consider the church to be lovely? Jesus does. He looks at his blood-bought bride with deep delight and desires that we do the same. In The Loveliest Place, Dustin Benge introduces us afresh to the church in a way that rekindles affection and renews commitment. Many books tell us about the church, but few help us love the church. This important work refreshes the soul and inspires worship."
J. Garrett Kell, Lead Pastor, Del Ray Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia
“Beholding the true beauty of the church can often be a challenge because many times she is torn asunder by various scandals and divisions. Dustin Benge nevertheless calls us to view the church from the divine perspective as the chosen bride of Christ. Only through this corrective lens can we recognize how precious she is in the sight of our triune God. May God give us eyes to see her radiant glory as she is clothed with the glistening garments of Christ.”
Steven J. Lawson, President, OnePassion Ministries; Professor of Preaching, The Master’s Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries