Kimble, Jeremy M. That His Spirit May Be Saved: Church Discipline as a Means To Repentance and Perseverance, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2013.
The thesis of this work is that one purpose of church discipline is to serve as a declaration of potential eschatological judgment both to warn offenders of their need to repent, and, by implication, to exhort the church members to persevere in their faith. It argues from biblical, historical, and theological grounds that, while only God can make ultimate pronouncements concerning the salvific status of individuals, it must be acknowledged that Christ has given his church authority and, though not ultimate, it is to be used as a warning to unrepentant sinners and a means to restore them. This understanding yields practical ramifications in the final chapter, giving demonstrable direction for churches to follow. One can observe this convergence of discipline, final judgment, and the call to perseverance and note the heightened importance of ecclesial discipline. If this is a proper understanding of discipline, then it will be difficult to dismiss the area of ecclesiology as a completely secondary doctrine, and the practice of church discipline out of hand in the local church. This becomes a crucial means by which the people of God are built up, and as such, calls for churches to rightly implement the kind of discipline called for in the Scriptures.