Poirier is a pastor and a mediator with Peacemaker Ministries. This book offers a biblically based discussion of conflict in the congregation, the role of the pastor as mediator, and principles and practices for reconciling church conflict. Poirier offers a New Testament alternative to contemporary ‘law-court’ models of dispute resolution, including those offered by other Christians. He seeks to fill a void in pastoral training by offering a biblical view of peacemaking to assist in the inevitable conflicts a congregation faces. Early chapters discuss typical situations of church conflict and their underlying causes. A biblical and theological discussion of peacemaking and conflict resolution follows. Then the book moves into an analysis of the steps of peacemaking: confession, forgiveness, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and church discipline. A closing chapter offers practical steps to develop a peacemaking church. Significant scriptural references are included throughout, and there is an index of scriptural references. This book will be a helpful resource to leaders, especially pastors, in evangelical congregations seeking a thorough grounding in New Testament principles for reconciliation and dispute resolution.
Reviewed by Wendy McCormick