• Books,  Pastoring,  Theology

    To Transform Men, Women and Nations

    We live in an age of easy-believing. Many of those professing the name of Christ offer a false gospel, trading in a parody of Jesus’ message that demands neither conviction for sin nor alignment with God’s will. Words like “love” are used to cover up and condone sin rather than shine a redemptive spotlight on it. God is reduced to a doting uncle, who loves us but is largely out of the picture, leaving man to rescue himself. He would never punish, and sin is something that can be forgiven without a concern for holiness or justice. The words of Jesus provide a strong contrast: “If anyone would come after…

  • Cover Art from Princeton and the Christian Ministry
    Books,  Pastoring,  Theology

    Folly of the first magnitude

    Random quote by one Archibald Alexander that I found noteworthy: It is evident, therefore, that he who trifles with the truth, trifles with his own life. To be indifferent about truth, is a folly of the first magnitude. To be governed by mere inclination, taste or fashion, in the adoption of our religious opinions, is indicative of a diseased and dangerous state of mind. Truth is so vital and so necessary to the existence and perfection of a pious character, that we cannot be too solicitous to acquire correct knowledge. Pride, prejudice, and partiality, should be laid aside, and the love of truth should be kept alive in our souls.…

  • Books,  Pastoring,  Theology

    Permission to Love One Another

    February’s residency read was The Pastor and Counseling by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju. I think this book is a great introduction to the pastor’s call to really shepherd the flock. It is also a great place to begin thinking about how the call of the pastor has a trajectory of whole body involvement in discipleship, including biblical counseling. Chapter Seven, especially, points the reader to consider how the whole body works together for health of individuals and church alike: A culture of discipleship means that members don’t have to sign up for anything to get permission to love one another. It is a church culture where it is normal…

  • No Shortcut to Success
    Books,  Pastoring,  Social Sciences,  Theology

    Worldview and Discipleship: The Excluded Middle

    Since the second day of T4G 2022, I’ve been reading no shortcut to success, and I have been loving it. But chapter 8 took things to a whole other level as it addressed worldview and discipleship. There is just so much in it to commend to you, my reader. Getting There More than once I’ve heard it said that if you can only read a part of this book, read chapters 1-3. And those first few chapters, where Matt Rhodes lays out the issues he is seeing on the field, are great. They are clear, helpful, challenging. But more than anything, I reached the end with a feeling of, “A…

  • Books,  Pastoring

    To Love Those To Whom We Preach

    I am absolutely loving the 40th Anniversary edition of Preaching and Preachers, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His writing is passionate, clear, and helpful for anyone considering or engaged in the task of preaching. That’s not to say I wouldn’t quibble here and there – his comments on lay preaching (pp.113ff), for example – but overall, I’ve definitely benefited from considering the task of preaching and pastoring through this shepherd’s eyes. As he begins to deal with the act of preaching, and what sort of character and attitudes should go into it, I was particularly struck by “urgency”. This is an area where I can certainly grow, allowing the message to both…

  • Books,  Pastoring

    On Pastoring – Guard The Bank

    Lately, I’ve been reading On Pastoring by H.B. Charles, Jr. a few minutes each day. It has short, powerful and incisive chapters that are perfect for quick reads while waiting for other things to complete. In any case, the following from yesterday caught my attention: A new pastor began his ministry with the key leaders of the church board. The church board members introduced themselves and told the new pastor about their area of ministry. Each department leader proceeded to tell him what was expected of him, stressing the importance of their department, and making it clear that the kingdom of heaven was at hand only if the pastor devoted…