The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Portrait printing

with 2 comments

Well, hurrah and huzzah! A Portrait of Paul (more information) has been sent to the printers and should have a concrete existence (by which, naturally, I do not mean buried in concrete or tied to a block of concrete and sunk to the bottom of some convenient body of water) by the end of this month, God willing.

In a clear indication that we have unwittingly persuaded otherwise competent judges that we know something, Carl Trueman has the following to say about the book:

This deceptively easy to read book consists of a series of reflections on Col.1:24 to 2:5 by two experienced pastors. In an age where there is much focus on technical aspects of ministry, Ventura and Walker analyse the topic in terms, first, of call and character, and then of the existential urgency with which the great doctrines of the faith are grasped by those called to the pastorate. Intended not just to be read but to be a practical guide in helping churches think through the role of the pastor, each chapter ends with a series of pointed questions, to Christians in general and to pastors in particular, which are designed to focus the minds of all concerned on what the priorities of the pastorate, and of candidates for the pastorate should be. This book is a biblical rebuke to modern trends, a challenge to those who think they may be called to the ministry, and a reality check for all believers everywhere.

Particularly enjoyable here is the employment of the phrase “existential urgency” – I don’t think I have ever been accused of something so unreasonable!

At the moment, orders can be placed with Reformation Heritage Books as well as Westminster Bookstore, Monergism Books, Christian Book Distributors (CBD), and Grace Books International as well as a growing number of other places.

Hopefully I will get some sample chapters up in the next few days, but for now, I can provide the foreword, kindly written by Dr Joel Beeke:

Have you ever wondered what the gospel ministry should be like? Or what kind of minister your church should look for? If you are a minister, have you ever established in your own mind what the ideal and pathos of an apostolic pattern of ministry should look and feel like?

Other than our Lord Jesus Himself, there is no better representative in the Scriptures than the apostle Paul for visualizing the gospel ministry. In numerous letters, Paul makes himself and his ministry stunningly vulnerable. Repeatedly, he sets before us not only the origin, essence, and goal of his ministry, but also its joys, hardships, conflicts, and warnings. Paul allows us not only to view his daily work but also opens up his mind and soul in an amazing way.

In this gripping, well-written book, Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker mine the riches of Paul, showing us the mind, heart, and life of a genuine minister who is on fire for the glory of God, the growth of believers, the establishment of Christ’s church, and the salvation of the lost. No minister can read this book without being profoundly convicted of his shortcomings and deeply moved to aspire to more faithful ministry. No church member can read this book without acquiring a better understanding of what a minister should be and without being stirred up to pray for his pastor, or, in the case of a pulpit and pastoral vacancy, for finding the kind of pastor these pages so vividly display.

Having taught in pastoral ministry for twenty-five years at a seminary level, I have never read a book that so powerfully presents a Christ-centered model for biblical ministry as A Portrait of Paul. Books, seminaries, and experience all play an invaluable role in preparing a man for the ministry, but this book affirms, with John Newton, that “none but He who made the world can make a minister.” After you read this book, you will understand Charles Spurgeon, who said, “Do not be a minister if you can help it,” as well as Thomas Watson, who said, “The ministry is the most honorable employment in the world. Jesus Christ has graced this calling by His entering into it.” You will also understand what my father said to me after I was called to the ministry: “To serve as a minister of Jesus Christ is a more important calling than living in the White House.”

A Portrait of Paul is a great book that should serve as required reading in an introductory course on Christian ministry. Every minister should own a copy and read it. Lay people should also read it to understand their pastor and ministry of all kinds in the church of Jesus Christ.

May God use this book in a mighty way to stir pastors and lay people to fervency of heart for the church as the bride of Jesus Christ and for the amazing calling of pastoral ministry. Let us all pray daily for Word-based, God-fearing, Christ-exalting, sober-minded ministers to fill this needy earth with sound preaching, holy lives, and loving pastoral counsel—ministers whose very lives are transcripts of their sermons. This is the crying need of the universal church and of the world today.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 17:16

2 Responses

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  1. Looks great and very timely.

    Rich Barcellos

    Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 17:38

  2. Can’t wait to get hold of a copy!

    David

    Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 13:16


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