Categories
The End of Many Books

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

by Phillip Keller

If I’ve read this book before, I can’t remember when. I can remember thinking I should have read it before. Psalm 23 has to be one of the all-time top five songs of God’s people. And as a metaphorical shepherd, why wouldn’t I have wanted to see how the Lord shepherds His sheep?

The ladies at our church are in process of reading this for a couple upcoming discussions. So it was a good time for me to go through it, too.

As one who tries to be on the easy side of being edify-able, I was edified by the book. As one who is not a literal shepherd, I learned some things about the process and the dangers. As one who cares about exegesis, I was less satisfied; sometimes two things refer to the same thing, sometimes the same thing refers to multiple and even opposite things. And yet, the overall effect was one of increasing my thankfulness for the Lord as my Shepherd, and that’s what I want.

3 of 5 stars

Categories
The End of Many Books

The Care of Souls

I am glad I read this. I did also get tired of reading it numerous times. Some of the fatigue was due to repetition, some of it was all the Lutherany lingo. The author is Lutheran, so, it wasn’t unexpected, and there are ways in which hearing from different than usual perspective can be beneficial, sure. I appreciated the habitus emphasis, certainly over more technique and tips. I appreciated the concept of “baptismal therapy,” as in, a way of referring to our identity in Christ as crucial for our sanctification and consciences and comfort. And yet, I probably wouldn’t include this high on a list for new or old pastors to read. I’m thankful for it, and thankful I’m done.

3 of 5 stars

Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

Prosecute the Work

“The emphasis on LABOR [in 1 Corinthians 15:10] reminds us that difficulty and cost in Christian work, far from suggesting an absence of GOD’S GRACE, presupposes the gift of such grace to prosecute the work through all obstacles.”

—Anthony Thiselton
Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

An Ambitious Mission

“The pastor’s task is to guide the believer into a full and complete awareness of these infinite riches that have been bestowed on him by sheer grace, and to present that believer to God in full maturity. It is quite an ambitious spiritual mission, but it should be the mission of every pastor.”

—Douglas Wilson on pastoral care
Categories
Every Thumb's Width

Every Single Thing is Now Different

This is a challenging article by David Bahnsen, Every Single Thing is Now Different: The Kavanaugh moment is not done. It is just beginning.

I’m not actually as pessimistic as Bahnsen sounds (Kavanaugh was confirmed), and also Jesus talked about when others “utter all kinds of evil against you falsely,” which, whether that applies to Kavanaugh or not, at least shouldn’t surprise Christians. Regardless, the article is good, and near the end he makes a brutal (and sadly accurate) comment about how evangelical churches, and their pastors, are providing no support for those conservative Christians endeavoring to live courageously in the culture.

“The cultural pacifists that fill today’s pulpits lack the courage to even self-identify for the humanism-soaked sponges that they are.”

Ouch.

Categories
The End of Many Books

Reset

by David Murray

I give 5 stars when I really like a book (as is the Goodreads standard) but also when I would immediately start rereading the book. Such is Reset.

I did not want to like it. I am less impressed with guys who talk about taking a break and seek my encouragement from men who spend until they are broke. That said, this was the free ChristianAudio book a couple months ago, I started to listen, Mo also started to listen, and we realized that both have some work to do in the various repair garages as Murray refers to them.

My hard copy arrived last week and I plan to use it like a workbook over the next month or so.

5 of 5 stars

Categories
The End of Many Books

Why Ministers Must Be Men

by Douglas Wilson

Brief observations on the relevant Bible texts along with the implications of what corporate liturgy teaches about God’s nature and our relationship with Him. Plus, some inimitable Wilsonian jibes exhorting guys to put on their man pants.

4 of 5 stars

Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

Generals and Shepherds

Great distinction between generals and shepherds:

“Rupert Greeves was no general. Generals spend men. Generals expect sacrifice from those who stand with them. Shepherds do not lead their sheep into battle with wolves. They fight alone.”

—N. D. Wilson in Empire of Bones

Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

It’s an Important Difference

How do you tell a scribe from a prophet…? The prophets love the people they chastise….

—Marilynne Robinson, Gilead: A Novel, 162
Categories
The End of Many Books

The Trellis and the Vine

by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

Very good. I hope it becomes a standard reading and EVALUATING tool for all disciple-making centers/churches and disciple-making trainers/pastors.


I’m rereading this, especially since TEC is wanting this imagery to stay central.

4 of 5 stars