Thursday, January 25, 2007


Joe Thorn tagged me, with the following rules:
1) Grab the book closest to you.
2) Open to page 123; go down to the fourth sentence.
3) Post the text of the following three sentences.
4) Name the author and book title.
5) Tag three people to do the same.

I’ll pass on step 5. Sitting at my desk piled with various books both behind and in front of me (and some in the floor around me!), it’s a toss up on which is closest. So, to connect with the purpose of this blog, I reached for the closest one expressly on pastoral ministry, Charles Bridges’ classic, The Christian Ministry. Sure enough Bridges delivers with a powerful statement on the disastrous effect of the fear of man on pastors.

“Thus a minister under this deteriorating influence [the fear of man] chiefly deals in general truths devoid of particular application- more in what is pleasing than what is direct and useful. Many other subjects may be equally necessary, or indeed more important; but these are more conciliating. There is thus a continual conflict between conscience and the world- ‘I ought to speak for conscience sake; but I dare not speak for fear of the world.’ The offensive truth must be smoothed, disguised,
intermixed, until it is attenuated into an insipid, pointless, and inoperative statement.”

3 comments: said...

I read that book for the first time on our honeymoon in Jamaica while sitting by the pool in the afternoons. I believe it is one of the most important books on ministry; one every pastor should be familiar with.

P. Beard said...

Ray, I tried it and this is the result:
Brakes - Air Conditioning Svc - Computerized Alignment - Tune-Up Svc - Emission Inspection - Tires - Fuel Injection - Oil Change & Lube - Struts & Shocks - Latest Computer Diagnostic Equipment. 731-424-1486. Dennis Mitchell Automotive.

Maybe something other than the phone book would have been more enlightening?

Adam Winters said...

Does this mean you tag everyone who reads this entry?

"The problem came not with the goal, but with the assumption that, in order to be spiritual, one must no longer pay attention to the world.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones . . . addressed a conference in 1941 that was called to assess reasons for the intellectual weakness of British evangelicals . . . In his remarks, Lloyd-Jones highlighted the effects of the new theological positions from the end of the nineteenth century."

Mark Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind