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Hire Hitler!

With this being the 60th anniversary year of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s execution, Union University held a special chapel panel today to discuss and contemplate Bonhoeffer’s life and legacy. It was a great chapel and I assume the audio will soon be available from Union’s Audio Webpage . One thing that stood out to me concerning pastoral […]

Chrysostom on the labor of preaching

I have found this quote from Chrysostom helpful in describing the serious toil involved in right preaching and the place of the church in aiding such an effort. “Preaching really entails hard work, and this fact Paul made plain when he said: ‘Let the presbyters who rule well be held worthy of double honor, especially […]

Luther on doing not just knowing

In his book on Reformation spirituality, Spirituality in an Age of Change (a good read), Alister McGrath records the following quote from Martin Luther: Great scholars who read a lot, and own lots of books, are not the best Christians… The best Christians are those who do from a free and willing heart what the […]

On Critiquing the Church

In her essay, “The Fiction Writer and His Country,” Flannery O’Connor quoted Wyndham Lewis as saying, “If I write about a hill that is rotting, it is because I despise rot.” She uses this quote to explain that when she (and others) write about the ills of society, it is not because they rejoice in […]

Gimmicks or the Gospel

Fairly recently Tim Ellsworth commented on a news report on a recent Benny Hinn crusade. Watching or hearing about Benny Hinn both angers and saddens me- because of the impact on souls. While much could be said about Hinn, one of the most alarming things in the news story is the comment of a local […]

Suffering and a Resource

To follow on from the last post on speaking to our people about suffering, I wanted to mention a helpful resource. Kairos Journal is an online journal exclusively for pastors, and it is free. It is led by Greg Thornbury, who will be known to many of you. You have to register, and a third […]

The Place of Suffering

As we consider pastoral ministry (as well as what it means to follow Christ in general) in our setting of American evangelicalism one element which is woefully absent from our discussion is suffering. Suffering is as conspicuously absent from the discussion in our churches as it is obviously present in the New Testament. If we […]

Oversight of Souls – Initial Post

Eight years ago shortly after the conclusion of my first pastorate, I recorded the following thought: “The crying need of our day is for holy men of God pastoring the church of God and being diligent in the oversight of souls” (8/7/97) I don’t remember now exactly the events which prompted the writing down of […]