Thursday, February 16, 2006
Thoughts from Baxter
I have had a deeply moving time this morning simply in re-reading the 8 pages of quotes I have gathered from Richard Baxter’s, The Reformed Pastor, in preparation for the discussion today in my Pastoral Ministry class. I cannot recommend this book too highly. Baxter is simply at his best in working out the practical implications of the faith, and especially in regards to pastoral ministry. I hope to post a series of comments, observations and quotes from this book
The overall purpose of the book is the renewing of pastoral ministry. By ‘Reformed’ Baxter meant ‘renewed, revitalized.’ He states at the beginning that a group of pastors had been convicted in their lack of diligently teaching and pastoring their people. Baxter’s book grew out of his prepared address to the meeting of these pastors Dec 4, 1655. The earnestness of the approach to pastoral ministry is convicting and challenging. You find nothing here of merely drawing crowds, promoting programs or career advancement. You find here a man intent on guiding his people to heaven- laboring to teach them publicly and in their homes, pleading with and rebuking them, patiently training them as followers of Christ. This is pastoral ministry. The degree to which this fails to match up with the concerns and time commitments of pastoral ministry today speaks condemnation to our ministry paradigms.
More to come...
Note: I do recommend the edited edition by James Houston. I normally favor getting the 'whole thing', but Baxter is well aided by a good editor.
Posted by Ray Van Neste at 12:01 PM