The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘John MacArthur

“The Brokenhearted Evangelist”

with 8 comments

Hurrah and huzzah! The Brokenhearted Evangelist rolls from the presses (do books still roll from presses?) to the acknowledging grunts of the three people who have pre-ordered it.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

With a “gutless orthodoxy,” Christians today quickly affirm biblical truth regarding evangelism and mission, but, author Jeremy Walker reminds us, “we cannot pretend that we know and believe the truth about men, souls, heaven, hell, and salvation unless it is making a difference in the way we think, feel, pray, speak, and act.” How do Christians develop this sense of urgency to see lost sinners saved? What motivates our evangelism? We must have the character of the brokenhearted evangelist, the David of Psalm 51, who recognizes the greatness of his own sin, looks to God for forgiveness, then recognizes his undeniable obligation to teach transgressors God’s ways. In an engaging style and with pastoral warmth, Walker urges Christians to exercise their obligation and privilege to teach transgressors God’s ways, providing both spiritual truth and practical guidance for carrying out this necessary gospel duty.

There are five chapters in the book, and you can read a sample by clicking the link for chapter one:

  1. Am I Willing? Our Undeniable Obligation
  2. Am I Effective? Our Necessary Equipment
  3. Am I Committed? Our Appointed Means
  4. Am I Focused? Our Declared Aim
  5. Am I Fruitful? Our Great Expectation

Several esteemed men have been willing to read it and provide endorsements:

John MacArthur: “In recent years providence has brought a number of people into my life and ministry who are passionate about evangelism. Some of them are especially keen to win friends, fellow-workers, and family to Christ; others are engaged in various kinds of open-air evangelism, bringing the gospel to people they have never met before. I thank God for all of them and the passion that drives them. This excellent book by Jeremy Walker explains the biblical principles that underlie and provoke such passion, reminding us that time is short, the need is urgent, the laborers are few, and the fields are white unto harvest.”

Conrad Mbewe: “Jeremy Walker’s book is in the tradition of the Puritan classic, Joseph Alleine’s Alarm to the Unconverted, but this is more Jeremy Walker’s Alarm to the Converted. It is a pleasant surprise, coming as it does from a part of our world where Christianity has largely entered a ‘garrison’ (bunker) mode. The book, based on Psalm 51:13, is not meant simply to teach us about evangelism; it demands a verdict. He enlists the help of the great soul winners in history to reinforce his appeals. Even before I finished reading the book, I was already asking myself whether my heart was truly broken about the lost around me—and if it is, what am I doing about it?”

Paul Washer:The Broken Hearted Evangelist will refresh, strengthen, and equip the most timid saint for the work of soul winning. Jeremy Walker’s consideration of evangelism from the perspective of Psalm 51 is like fresh water drawn from a new well. He does not merely exhort us to greater faithfulness in evangelism and then leave us bewildered and guilty. Instead, he takes us to the very fountain from which all true motivation and strength for evangelism springs forth—the gospel and its glorious impact upon our own lives.”

At the moment, it is available from Reformation Heritage Books and Westminster Bookstore and Amazon.com. If you are interested, please take time to order and read it. Many thanks.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 7 February 2012 at 17:17

Still plundering pastoral theology

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On we go with pastoral theology texts. There seems little doubt that a significant advantage is obtained by the prospective author in this field by having a surname that begins with the letter M (Bs also give a pretty good leg-up). Why this should be so, finer minds than mine must determine, but sheer weight of numbers seems to support the thesis.

Anyway, the full list to date can be found here or from the sidebar under “Pastoral theology.” Comments and further recommendations are appreciated , and if you could put them on the full page, I will be able to keep track of them more readily. Thanks, too, to Paul Levy at Reformation21 for his backhanded recommendation, and to David Murray for promoting the list.

MacArthur, John, et al. Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry: Shaping Contemporary Ministry With Biblical Mandates. Effectively written by a conglomerate, this is a curious mix. There are some sterling chapters, and others that are wordy and bland. Once or twice I think you could argue about the claim for a precise Biblical mandate for all the assertions and practices made. All told, helpful in parts. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

MacArthur, John, et al. Rediscovering Expository Preaching: Balancing the Science and Art of Biblical Exposition. The same unevenness as the former volume, but with more focus, and a generally balanced, sane and instructive treatment of what it means to open up and apply the text. Occasionally falls into the same trap as many such volumes of establishing rules that not all are obliged or able to follow, but worthwhile for a comprehensive overview of the issues. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

McIlvaine, Charles P. Preaching Christ: The Heart of Gospel Ministry. Addressing himself primarily to men setting out in the ministry, this is short and sweet, identifying errors and shortcomings in the preaching of Christ before, in pithy form, exhorting us truly to preach the Lord Jesus as we find him presented in the Scriptures. Good stuff, and a good gift to a young preacher. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Marcel, Pierre Ch. The Relevance of Preaching. This from a French gentleman is a fine and stimulating little book. Marcel does an excellent job of maintaining the universal and abiding relevance of the Word of God preached while pleading for the cultivation of those qualities which demonstrate its relevance at any particular point of time and space. Very encouraging and instructive. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Marshall, Colin and Payne, Tony. The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift that Changes Everything. Considers the relationship – and often the imbalance – between the structures and supports of church life and the conversion and growth in grace of the people who make up the church, pleading for an appropriate focus on the latter. Rightly concerned to prompt Christian maturity that enables disciples to invest in the lives of others, but with a few false dichotomies and self-contradictions and a danger of flattening out Christ’s own structures in the church, especially when the notion of vocation (pastoral or otherwise) is fairly swiftly dismissed. Review. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Martin, Albert N. Preaching in the Holy Spirit. If you have heard Al Martin preach at least twice, then – even without knowing the author beforehand – you would be able to identify him after reading the first paragraph of this book, not to mention the rest of it. The material – the substance of two sermons to pastors – addresses the agency and operations of the Holy Spirit, his indispensable necessity, his specific manifestations, and the restrained or diminished measure of his operations, all focusing on the act of preaching. The author brings the fruit of his study, observations and experience to bear on this topic, giving the reader an appetite for the reality he sketches. It is stirring and necessary stuff, and a powerful corrective to dry, dull, predictable sermonising. Preachers should read this. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Masters, Peter. Physicians of Souls: The Gospel Ministry. This is really a sustained plea for definite, distinctive, evangelistic preaching, and – as such – has a lot of good counsel. The author has his own distinctive writing style, and his personal convictions come out strongly, as along the way he snipes at several of his bugbears (he takes issue, for example, with the idea of an instantaneous regeneration, preferring the notion of an elongated experience, and advocates certain approaches to preparation and preaching which would leave a man looking and sounding very much like himself). Within its narrow focus, and taking into account the possibility of differing somewhat at certain points, there is much good and stimulating material. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Mellor, Mike. Look After Your Voice: Taking Care of the Preacher’s Greatest Asset. A sanctified companion to Cicely Berry’s book above, taking particular note of the distinctive demands of the preacher and the specific principles found in the Word of God. A reasonably helpful volume, but needs to be heeded rather than merely read. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Miller, Samuel. An Able and Faithful Ministry. With 2 Timothy 2.2 in mind, Miller takes up the church’s duty to take appropriate measures for the passing on of the ministerial baton. It is very much of its time and place, but his treatment of the text is robust and the principles behind his explanation and applications worthy of careful consideration. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Miller, Samuel. The Ruling Elder. Once you allow for the assumptions of the distinction between a ruling and a teaching elder, you can go ahead and glean a lot of useful material from this volume on the whole principle of rule by elder, especially concerning their character and work. Particularly valuable for being so brief and pointed. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Mohler, R. Albert, Jr. He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World. Helpfully brings some of the timeless principles of proclamation into the postmodern milieu, dressing it up in the kind of language that floats the boat of today’s zestfully intelligent tyro. A high view of preaching, a clear grasp of the present time, and an earnest concern for what is at stake combine to make this an effective treatment of the need to explain and apply God’s Word. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

Murphy, Thomas. Pastoral Theology: The Pastor in the Various Duties of His Office. This 19th century Presbyterian divine opens with a most helpful definition of pastoral theology, and then goes on to develop it with regard to a pastor’s private person, his preparation and study, his pulpit labours, his personal parochial work, his wider responsibilities in the church, the progress of the church, the Sunday School, the benevolent work, the session and higher courts of the church (of course, depending on his ecclesiology), and his interdenominational relations. Few other volumes have the scope and depth of this one, as lots of sound, Scriptural sense is brought to bear on the various topics. (Westminster / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Monergism)

General MacArthur

with 4 comments

A couple of MacArthur-related bits that I appreciated follow.

First, Kevin DeYoung speaks of his pulpit authority, quoting Hughes Old’s work on reading and preaching to demonstrate why he is so compelling:

Why do so many people listen to MacArthur, this product of all the wrong schools? How can he pack out a church on Sunday morning in an age in which church attendance has seriously lagged? Here is a preacher who has nothing in the way of a winning personality, good looks, or charm. Here is a preacher who offers us nothing in the way of sophisticated homiletical packaging. No one would suggest that he is a master of the art of oratory. What he seems to have is a witness to true authority. He recognizes in Scripture the Word of God, and when he preaches, it is Scripture that one hears. It is not that the words of John MacArthur are so interesting as it is that the Word of God is of surpassing interest. That is why one listens. (Vol. 7, 557-58, emphasis added)

Second, Tim Challies has interviewed MacArthur, and in answering a question about dangers to the church, MacArthur said:

A third major issue that I see is the Arminian methodology that seems to characterize many in the Young Restless Reformed crowd in contradiction to their Reformed credo.

If you ask me (and I should point out that nobody has), this is spot on. Kevin’s post and Tim’s blend nicely together: a man who believes in the sovereignty of God should preach as if he believes in the sovereignty of God and leave a sovereign God to provide the blessing.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 10 February 2011 at 17:21

Posted in Pastoral theology

Tagged with

“They ceased.”

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John MacArthur has been taking some flak for what he said about Darrin Patrick recently, but here is a critique from the same interview with Phil Johnson in which he also did some pretty straight talking about the charismatic movement:

The charismatic movement is largely the reason the church is in the mess it’s in today. In virtually every area where church life is unbiblical, you can attribute it to the charismatic movement. In virtually every area — bad theology, superficial worship, ego, prosperity gospel, personality elevation — all of that comes out of the charismatic movement.

You can read the whole transcript at The Thirsty Theologian.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 25 January 2011 at 13:30

“A Portrait of Paul”

with 17 comments

It seems that the time has come to break cover and shuffle into the foetid pool.  The book mentioned a few days ago is now available in the US for pre-publication orders from Reformation Heritage Books or Westminster Bookstore or Monergism Books or Christian Book Distributors (CBD) or Grace Books International.

Amazon.co.uk and Evangelical Press are now stocking the item.

A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a True Minister of Christ

Rob Ventura & Jeremy Walker

Blurb: What does a true pastor look like, and what constitutes a faithful ministry? How can we identify the life and labors of one called by God to serve in the church of Jesus Christ? To address these questions, Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker examine how the apostle Paul describes his pastoral relation to the people of God in Colossians 1:24–2:5. By discussing these essential attitudes, qualities, and characteristics of a faithful minister of Christ, A Portrait of Paul provides gospel ministers an example of what they should be, and demonstrates for churches the kind of pastors they will seek if they desire men after God’s own heart.

Chapters:

  1. The Joy of Paul’s Ministry
  2. The Focus of Paul’s Ministry
  3. The Hardships of Paul’s Ministry
  4. The Origin of Paul’s Ministry
  5. The Essence of Paul’s Ministry
  6. The Subject of Paul’s Ministry (sample)
  7. The Goal of Paul’s Ministry
  8. The Strength of Paul’s Ministry
  9. The Conflict of Paul’s Ministry
  10. The Warnings of Paul’s Ministry

Endorsements:

John MacArthur: The apostle Paul has always been a hero whom I look to as a model for my ministry. His unrelenting faithfulness in the worst kinds of trials is a remarkable example to every pastor and missionary. In the midst of suffering, hardship, and (in the end) the abandonment of his own friends and fellow workers, Paul remained steadfast, dynamic, and utterly devoted to Christ. This invaluable study of Paul’s life from Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker is a wonderful, powerful, soul-stirring examination of Paul’s self-sacrifice and his unfaltering service to the church. It will both motivate and encourage you, especially if you’re facing trials, opposition, or discouragement in your service for Christ.

Geoff Thomas: For the first two decades of my life as a Christian, I had an abundance of role models who seemed to enflesh for me how a minister of God should live. I realize now that I even took their presence and consistent example for granted. I looked forward to the future under the protection of their mature lives of patience, wisdom, and many kindnesses. The labors of most of those men have come to an end and today I face another situation. There are now numbers of fine younger men in training and starting out on their own ministries. What grace and zeal they have, but there appears to be less role models than the company with which I was favored. What Walker and Ventura have done in this splendid book is to return to the fountainhead of Christianity, to the apostle Paul with the authority the Lord Christ gave to him, his wisdom and compassion, and examine the apostle’s relationship with one congregation, how he advised and exhorted them concerning the demands of discipleship and their relationship with fellow believers. Paul became Christ’s servant and mouthpiece to them and he has left us with a timeless inspired example. He exhorted his readers more than once to be followers of him as he followed God. With a refreshing contemporary style, and with humble submission to the Scripture, these two ministers have given to us a role model for pastoral life. This is a very helpful book and a means of grace to me.

Paul Washer: This work on the Christian ministry is a clarion call to true devotion and piety in the pastorate. The theology is pure and the language is as powerful as it is beautiful. I pray that every pastor and congregant might take up this book and read it. It will hold a place in my library beside Baxter’s Reformed Pastor, Bridges’ Christian Ministry, and Spurgeon’s Lectures. I will refer to it often. It will serve as a great antidote against all that might cause my heart to stray from Christ’s call.

Conrad Mbewe: When I first sensed God’s call to the preaching ministry, I did a study of the life and ministry of the apostle Paul. And, oh, what a study that was! It opened my eyes to the difference between ministry in the New Testament and what is in vogue today. Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker have now brought all those truths that I saw into this one volume. I, therefore, commend this book to all who want to take God’s call to the work of ministry seriously. For, in these pages is the heart and experience of a true minister of the new covenant.

Steven J. Lawson: The greatest need in churches today is for godly men to shepherd the flock of God. To be sure, no church will rise any higher than the level of its spiritual leaders. Like priest, like people. To this end, Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker have done an exceptional job in providing a model for pastoral ministry, drawn from the extraordinary example of the apostle Paul. This book is built upon careful exegesis, proper interpretation, penetrating insight, and challenging application. Herein is profiled the kind of minister every church so desperately needs and what every true minister should desire to become.

Derek W. H. Thomas: In this dual-authored portrait of Paul as a minister of the gospel, Ventura and Walker have captured the very essence of ministry. On every page, we are forced to reflect upon the dimensions of apostolic ministry and urged to comply. Packed with exposition and application of the finest sort, these pages urge gospel-focused, Christ-centered, God-exalting, Spirit-empowered, self-denying ministry. I warmly recommend it.

Carl R. Trueman: This deceptively easy to read book consists of a series of reflection 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.

Joseph A. Pipa Jr: Ventura’s and Walker’s A Portrait of Paul Identifying a True Minister of Christ makes an unique contribution to the literature on pastoral theology. Rather than approach their subject topically, they unfold Paul’s heart for and practice of ministry through an exposition of Colossians 1:24-2:5.  The authors balance careful and experimental exposition with challenging application–addressing both fellow Christians and pastors.  All serious Christians, as well as pastors, will profit from this book; it is intellectually satisfying, experimentally challenging, and practically stimulating.

Philip H. Towner: As the diverse churches of the world have demonstrated throughout history, there is no better place to turn, when confronted with the complexities of pastoral leadership, than the Scriptures.  Each church in each generation must revisit this resource and view it anew through its particular historical, theological, cultural and political lens. The authors of A Portrait of Paul engage precisely in this task. With Colossians as their main laboratory, they probe the text and engage Paul in a conversation about pastoral ministry—its priorities, foundation, and potential—and a profile of pastoral mission and leadership emerges.  All who read this book will discover an invitation to join this rich conversation and take away numerous fresh perspectives to challenge and shape their thinking.

Sam Waldron: What is A Portrait of Paul Identifying a True Minister of Christ? It is, first, the effort of two young pastors to teach themselves and their churches what it means to be a true minister of Christ. It is, second, an exposition of Colossians 1:24–2:5 which attempts to understand how Paul’s ministry gives them and their churches a paradigm of faithful ministry. It is, third, biblical exposition of Scripture in the best historic and Reformed tradition with careful exegesis, sound doctrine, popular appeal and practical application. As such, it is a very challenging book to read as Rob and Jeremy lay before us, for instance, the selflessness and suffering true ministry requires. It is, however, a good, useful, and profitable book to read. It can, and I hope it will, do much good!

Robert R. Gonzales Jr.: Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker’s A Portrait of Paul is biblically sound, pointedly practical, and sagaciously simple. In addition to an exposition of Colossians 1:24-2:5, they provide the reader with a host of citations from other pertinent texts of Scriptures as well as judicious quotes from past and contemporary authors, all of which help to trace out the contours of Paul’s life and ministry. Each chapter concludes with practical applications directed both to fellow pastors (or aspiring pastors) and also to fellow Christians. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who would seek to imitate Paul as Paul sought to imitate Christ.

Pre-order in the US at RHB or WTS.

Further information to follow as it becomes available.

Shepherd the flock

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Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 4 May 2009 at 10:51

The rape of the Song of Songs

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John MacArthur has been addressing a certain interpretation of the Song of Solomon that has been prominent in recent weeks.  Mark Driscoll features prominently in his critique.  It is an honest and helpful response to some of the excesses not only of Driscoll’s treatment, but also of the apparent explosion of such treatments over recent months.  MacArthur also addresses some of the critiques of his critique that have circulated.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 17 April 2009 at 13:13

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