Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Crossway; Reprint edition (January 31, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #35,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #49 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Pastoral Resources #7956 in Books > Religion & Spirituality
Thousands and millions of books are written every year, and every year I regularly read over one hundred books but very few of those books published and even fewer of those that I read are diagnostic books that punch you in the gut (in a good way to bring conviction of sin) by pointing out the weaknesses in pastoral culture and church life in order to help pastors see clearly their blind spots and point them to growth in the grace of God. Thankfully Dr. Paul Tripp a seasoned Pastor and counselor knows this which is why he wrote Dangerous Calling Confronting The Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry.One of the more important trends I see happening in Christian publishing is an emphasize on Gospel centered growth in the grace of God. Added to this emphasis is a recent resurgence in books being published that emphasizes how the Pastor should be growing in the grace of God. Often such books on spiritual formation are written for the lay person so it encourages me when I see publishers like Christian Focus (who recently published Pastoring the Pastor) and now Crossway publishing Dangerous Calling addressing this issue in a way that doesn't burden Pastors but confronts them with the Truth of God's Word in order to help them see themselves as they are desperate needy sinners in need of Jesus and His grace.There's an epidemic happening in pastoral ministry. In seminary future pastors are given a lot of information about theology, doctrine, church history and more to help equip them to preach, teach and minister to God's people. Sadly this emphasis on information focuses only on the head (knowing right doctrine is vital, so don't hear me arguing against that, my point is larger than this). My point is quite simply that Pastors are first Christians.
I know this is an immensely popular book that God has used and I do not want to be contrapuntal, but honestly I was underwhelmed; here is what I thought of the work, positive and negative, honestly and plainly so you can decide for yourself.Positives:The work is clearly written, the author is very honest and clearly a humble man--I really respect that. This is clear because he shares multiple humbling stories about himself, mimicking Paul who preferred to boast about his weaknesses. The subject matter is pertinent because the three main sections of the work are: Examining [critique of] Pastoral Culture; Forgetting Who God Is; Forgetting Who You Are. Also, it is as one other reviewer said "gut-wrenching" in that there are specific sins brought to light and examined (such as being controlling p. 160). Impressively, while deeply challenging, the work is neither negative nor angry, something difficult to accomplish. The work really does make you think about whether or not you have anger residing in your heart and whether or not you are consistent with what you preach, it is very convicting.Negatives:This work really is not for everyone. It is a sampling of Dr. Tripp's experiences with pastors who have lost their way in some regard and have, essentially, shipwrecked their faith as Paul would say. If you have not--if you have a relatively pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith (1 Tim. 1:5) like Timothy did, then this work will be more of a warning with some smaller, specific parts of the work moving you to repentance.
I want to thank Crossway Publishing and especially Angie Chetham for sending me an advance copy of Dr. Tripp's new book. This book has just been released.This new book by Dr. Tripp is one that every Pastor should put in his library and one that they should make a point of reviewing (re-reading) at least every 18 months or so. The book is an encouragement to Pastors about how serious the calling to Pastoral ministry is. It is also a reminder that if we are not careful we will fall into some very bad habits and wrong thinking that will bring harm to the Kingdom and disrepute to the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.This book is also one that every Elder Board should take a look at. It will be helpful to remind them of the dangers of the Pastoral Calling and Ministry and what they can do as the church board to hold their Pastor's accountable as well as bring encouragement into their Pastor's lives.The main concept that struck me most from this work was the idea that, "We do not teach well the word of God or serve the church well unless we are awestruck by the Power & Nature of our Lord and Savior." This was a central theme that was well developed, especially in Part two of the book. Most Pastors enter the Pastorate because at some point in time in their life they were "awestruck" by the power and majesty of the Lord. But as they continue to serve they often times find that the "awe" of the Lord starts to diminish. In place of that "Awe of God" they start to have an "awe of themselves!"The book is divided into three sections.Â· Section one examines the "Ministry Culture" that Pastors fine themselves in.Â· Section two examines the "Danger of losing your Awe, i.e. forgetting who God is.
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