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Francis Grimké on the Minister’s Character

 

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I am thrilled about the forthcoming publication of Francis J.Grimké’s “Meditations on Preaching” by Log College Press.

In the third volume of his collected works, Grimké (1852-1937) spoke frankly about the minister’s moral character:

A minister who is but poorly equipped intellectually, educationally, but who is of good moral character, and of real piety, is greatly to be preferred to the man, however well equipped intellectually and educationally, but who is of questionable character, whose ways are crooked. The one may have to be tolerated, the other should never be: the ministry of the one may result in good, of the other only harm can come. Such a minister discredits the gospel, and becomes an obstacle in the way of the progress of the kingdom of God. A godless minister, an immoral minister, should be nowhere tolerated, should be driven out of all of the churches. We need in the ministry, intelligent men, educated men, but above all God-fearing men,—morally clean men. Where such is not the case, the responsibility rests upon the officials of the churches, and ultimately upon the people who fill the pews and who furnish the means for carrying on the work in the churches. The toleration of immoral, godless ministers is always, therefore, a reflection upon the character of the people themselves, and is a pretty good index of their own characters.*

Grimké served as pastor of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C . First year preaching students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to his life, ministry, and writings through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors.

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*Francis J. Grimké, The Works of Francis J. Grimké, vol. 3, ed. by Carter G. Woodson (Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 121.

John Johnson Lectures at RTS Jackson

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John Johnson lectures on pastoral leadership in African American churches. His presentation is full of informative history and practical exhortations to loving and courageous pastoral leadership.

Pastor Johnson has served St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi for 17 years. On Easter he preaches his first sermon as the newly elected pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.

Loving Those To Whom We Preach

“To love to preach is one thing, to love those to whom we preach quite another.”
– Richard Cecil, quoted in D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 105.

By This Book

“Upon graduation from Columbia Seminary, ministerial students received from Dr. William S. Plumer their diploma along with a small Bible and these words: ‘By this Book you shall live, by this Book you shall preach, and by this Book you shall be judged at the last day.’”
– David B. Calhoun, Our Southern Zion: Old Columbia Seminary (1828-1927), (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2012), 207.

Samuel Miller on Study

“Every minister of the gospel ought to be a close student, and a diligent learner to the end of life.”
– Samuel Miller, Thoughts on Public Prayer. 1849 (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1985), 274.

John Calvin on True Piety

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“True piety consists in a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences him as Lord, embraces his righteousness, and dreads offending him worse than death.”

How is piety obtained? “Piety is always built on knowledge of the true God and knowledge requires instruction.” “That which can educate a man’s piety demands sane doctrine.”

– Quoted in David B. Calhoun, Knowing God and Ourselves: Reading Calvin’s Institutes Devotionally (Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 2016), 16-17.

 

Qualifications of a Good Bible Expositor

“If asked what I consider the qualifications for a good expositor of Holy Writ, I would answer these three: (1) a heart seasoned with grace; (2) a head filled with good common sense; (3) a mind stored with all that liberal education which aids exposition in general, and that of these holy books in particular.”
– John Duncan in John M. Brentnall, ed.,  ‘Just A Talker’: Sayings of John (‘Rabbi’) Duncan (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997), 12.