As a pastor, I make theological reading a priority. The truth contained in these books informs my teaching and writing, undergirds and permeates my counseling, and enables me to discern harmful doctrinal trends that may be influencing my people and the greater church.
Earlier this year I read The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham and Inerrancy and the Gospels Vern Poythress. These were followed by Ladd’s The Blessed Hope, Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views, edited by Stanley Porter and Beth Stovall and The Pastor-Theologian by Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson. I am currently reading Sam Storms’ treatise on amillennialism, Kingdom Come and just finished Steve Wellum’s excellent book in the Five Solas series, Christ Alone. I also recently finished Barrett’s book in the same series, God’s Word Alone as well as Trueman’s Grace Alone. Peter Gentry’s little book Reading and Understanding the Biblical Prophets was helpful, and I am looking forward to tackling Matt Waymeyer’s response to amillennialism, Amillennialism and the Age to Come in the near future (no pun intended). Continue reading “The Importance of Devotional Reading for Pastors and Theologians”
If you’re a pastor, no doubt you sense a strong call to preach and teach the Word of God. But you may also be a pastor who has a strong desire to write for the spiritual benefit of God’s people. Your passion to write may express itself in maintaining a blog, contributing regularly to a church newsletter, or crafting the occasional article. The plan for book-length writing, however, is rarely entertained with much seriousness. And if you do think about writing a book, your dreams are often interrupted by present and pressing responsibilities. Continue reading “Writing and Publishing For Your Local Congregation”
The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity. By Barnabas Piper. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2014, 160 pp., $12.99.
Re-entering pastoral ministry after a seven-year seminary hiatus with the recent addition of two boys makes me nervous. More than anything I fear the possibility that my children’s regular exposure to the disappointments, trials, and vulnerabilities of pastoral ministry will have a hardening effect on their hearts and will serve to drive them away from Christ and his people rather than into close communion with both. I have heard the stories of pastor’s kids who have turned from the faith of their parents, often citing the unique difficulties of their dad’s work and their experience in the church as the primary reasons they don’t want to follow Christ. And now I’m a pastor. Who is sufficient for these things? Continue reading “The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper”
I was a college sophomore when I trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins. The spiritual joy that characterized much of my first few months as a new believer, however, would eventually face significant obstacles. One obstacle in particular that threatened to throw me completely off course was the sad yet steady reality of Christian defection. Continue reading “Ministry as a Means of Perseverance”
John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is simultaneously a challenging and encouraging read. Pastoral ministry is serious work. It is not to be taken casually or viewed as a less strenuous alternative to a other professions. It is a glorious, demanding, painful, thrilling, satisfying endeavor with eternal ramifications. Pastors are charged with the accurate handling of God’s Word and responsible for the souls of men. It is no wonder why Paul cried out, “Who is sufficient for these things” (2 Cor. 2:16)? Continue reading “Two Lessons Learned from John Piper's 'Brothers, We are Not Professionals'”
Rarely is humility exalted as a fundamental element of true leadership. Yet, despite what some popular leadership proponents may allege, an honest and discriminating look into contemporary business culture confirms what the Scripture proclaims: God is opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. Christian leaders, then, must make every effort to cultivate sincere humility for their task of leadership within the church an in other organizations they might oversee. Aiding in this endeavor is the goal of this article.
Continue reading “Staying the Course: Humility and Christian Leadership”
Pastors need to be courageous. Many of Paul’s exhortations to Timothy highlight this truth. Timothy, though sincere, gifted, and discipled by the most eminent of apostles, apparently lacked courage in some areas (II Timothy 1:7), and was perhaps even guilty of over-correcting and being too harsh with the way he instructed those who were not in step with the truth (II Timothy 2:24-26). Throughout the same letter Paul exhorts Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord (1:8), to correct opponents (2:24-25), to avoid religious hypocrites (3:6), and to preach the Word all the time—regardless of a presence or lack of popularity (4:3).
Continue reading “The Righteous are as Bold as a Lion”