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Archive of posts tagged humility

Tolstoy, Pride & Pastors

For some of my early summer reading I worked through a variety of smaller, early 20th century books I’ve picked up along the way. One such book is Henry Churchill King’s It’s All In the Day’s Work (Macmillan, 1916). Not everything in the little book is commendable, but it does contain gold. At one point […]

Humility and Manhood

My boys & I recently read George MacDonald’s Phantastes. C. S. Lewis famously said this book baptized his imagination. I can’t say our experience was so lofty. It is a challenging book to follow, though there are beautiful and wise comments along the way. The last portion of the book is quite good as the […]

Pride, A Disqualifier for Ministry

Years ago, when I was a teenager, a seasoned, well-intentioned Baptist deacon gave me an explanation.  I was bothered by the apparent arrogance of a pastor, directed towards this deacon and not me. The deacon explained, “Well, you have to expect a certain amount of arrogance from preachers. That’s just the way they are.”  Without […]

Own Your Ignorance

“In our daily reading of Scripture we come upon many obscure passages that convict us of ignorance” – John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.2.4 This statement from Calvin is striking. At the time Calvin is writing this he is widely regarded as the leading theologian of the Reformation. No one else had produced […]

Do You Desire the Office of Overseer?

In expounding Paul’s comment on people desiring the office of overseer (1 Timothy 3:1), Calvin deals extensively with sinful (arrogant) and proper desire for such a position. He notes the difficulty of the work and that in Paul’s day as in his own, a man could not be a Minister of the word of God […]

Ordination, Prayer of Dedication

It was my privilege yesterday to preach at the ordination of Corey Cummings, a former student of mine. As part of the service, a prayer of dedication was given which Corey had written. Because I thought this prayer expressed well the sort of things a pastor ought to desire to have prayed for him, I […]

For you I am a bishop, with you, I am a Christian

Augustine’s sermon “On the Anniversary of His Ordination” (listed as Sermon 340) provides a beautiful portrait of pastoral ministry. I have included here several excerpts.  The importance of the oversight of souls is clear in these comments.  Here is a good blend of authority and humility.  The people need their pastors and the pastors need […]

Ortlund on Wisdom

Ray Ortlund, always worth hearing, has a good word on “How to become a Sage.” Here is an excerpt: Principle: The further we advance in Christ, the more we marvel at his untapped riches. Corollary: The more we feel people need our opinions, the more obvious it is they don’t. Another corollary: The more we feel […]

Not Stars but Servants

“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and […]

Ortlund on Pride vs. Christ

Ray Ortlund’s post “I am nothing” is another helpful shot at our man-centered thinking. It is brief, but I encourage you to read it. He cites a statement from an Assyrian king: “I am royal, I am lordly, I am mighty, I am honored, I am exalted, I am glorified, I am powerful, I am […]