The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Pastoral theology resources: a beginning

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When my friend Brian Croft visited the UK several months ago we enjoyed much warm conversation about volumes on pastoral theology. In following up that conversation, and at Brian’s suggestion, I began to build a catalogue of pastoral theology volumes, jotting down a few thoughts about them, and then passed them on to a couple of friends. Brian has since urged me to make the list publicly available as a means of serving others, and I am now pleased to do so.

Here begins, then, a personal survey of books from my library on pastoral theology, concentrating on those about which I am substantially positive without feeling the need to avoid a healthy critical spirit. The comments are comments first and foremost on the books, not on men or their ministries, and should be read accordingly, please. I have not generally bothered critiquing or identifying where differences of conviction would have a noticeable impact or impart a certain flavour, as in the spheres of church polity and ecclesiology. I leave it to the reader to wrestle through the implications of different perspectives, and to do for himself the work of accommodating good principles to his own distinctive convictions.

Because of the time it takes to do the editing for this list, I will be posting this in chunks of varying sizes. However, the entire list will be appearing over time (keeping pace with the gradual posting here) on a new page devoted to pastoral theology resources (and see sidebar), which I hope you will visit from time to time.

I welcome comments on the list (especially on the pastoral theology page, where I can keep track more readily) and would be particularly interested to know of any other older or newer works of pastoral theology that readers might recommend. Thank you.

Alexander, Eric J. What is Biblical Preaching? A little booklet with plenty of pithy and profound thoughts to ingest. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Alexander, J. W. Thoughts on Preaching. Though at points one wishes for a little more topical arrangement, reading his paragraphs as a sort of series of extended aphorisms quickly persuades of Alexander’s great insight. His terse and pithy declarations provide much food for thought. The letters to young ministers and the longer studies toward the end of the book give opportunity for slower and deeper development of his profitable thoughts. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Angell James, John. An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times. Written with the very fervency it recommends, Angell James gives us no place to hide in demanding that if we want others to feel what we preach we must first feel it ourselves, not with an artificial excitement, but with a soul-deep earnestness. Read it before you preach to remind you of how much you need God to help you; read it after you preach to keep you humble; read it between sermons to prompt you in your labours. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Aristotle. The Art of Rhetoric. Old-skool, and why not! Of course, needs to be forced thoroughly through a Scriptural grid, but pushes you towards good questions even if you must go on to find God’s answers. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Armstrong, John H. The Stain That Stays: The Church’s Response to the Sexual Misconduct of Its Leaders. A persuasive argument for the permanent disbarring from the pastoral office of any man guilty of sexual immorality, and in itself a powerful persuasive to purity. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Ascol, Thomas K., ed. Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry. One of the interesting things about these compendia is that you get to see the men considered to be the great and the good in the time, place and circle of the editor and/or publisher. Our contributors here are some of the men you would expect, and they deliver much good material in the form of letters written to a realistically-imagined Timothy in the spirit of a mentor. This focus provides a degree of coherence and a suspected significant degree of editorial oversight prevents the contributors from treading too much on one another’s toes, while the characters and personal styles of the correspondents provides a pleasing variety. A wealth of good advice for young men is here, thought it serves equally as a series of profitable reminders and correctives for those who have been some time in the way. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Azurdia, Arturo G. III. Spirit Empowered Preaching: Involving the Holy Spirit in Your Ministry. I remember an older minister introducing himself to me at a conference, and in the course of his conversation recommending this book as one I must read. I took his advice, and recall being stirred, confirmed and prompted to seek and know more of the Spirit’s work in ministry. A good volume. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 18 July 2011 at 18:06

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  1. […] Pastoral theology resources: a beginning « The Wanderer […]


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