Booknote: “A Place to Belong” by Megan Hills

By Charlie Wingard · May 15, 2020 · 0 Comments
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I was delighted to offer an endorsement of Megan Hill’s new book, A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church. Her love for the church and her Savior shines on every page. She possesses an uncommon gift for engaging illustrations and applications. Her theology of the church is biblical, and her instruction winsome as she clarifies what it means for the church’s members to share in each other’s gifts and graces. Readers will find themselves thanking God for his gift of “a place to belong.”      

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Booknote: “How to Care for Your Pastor” by Kent Philpott

By Charlie Wingard · May 7, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  How to Care for Your Pastor: A Guide for Small Churches, by Kent Philpott. Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2008, xiii + 128 pages, $13.99, paper. Disappointment is a routine part of pastoral life and is especially acute in small churches where personal and financial resources are few and prospects for growth slim. Many pastors wonder if anyone in the congregation really cares about them. Pay is often meagre; expressions of concern for the pastor and his family’s well-being come infrequently or not at all. In some churches little energy is spent caring for anyone in the church. The hurt can be deep. Pastors would like to articulate their hurts to the church, but do not—they do not want to…

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“Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron’s 715th

By Charlie Wingard · April 8, 2020 · 0 Comments
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Today my RTS office is in an attic. 46 years ago my bedroom was. On the evening of April 8, 1974, I sat at my desk doing homework. The radio was on, the volume low, and the Braves-Dodgers game in the background. In the second and the fourth inning, I turned up the volume when one of my boyhood heroes, “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron, came to the plate. And it was in the fourth inning that he smashed his record setting 715th homer off Dodger Al Downing. Braves’ announcer Milo Hamilton called the historic shot. Of the hundreds of Braves games I listened to as a boy, that was by far the most memorable. I recorded the home run on my…

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Booknote: The Pastor’s Soul, by Brian Croft & Jim Savastio

By Charlie Wingard · March 7, 2020 · 0 Comments
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The Pastor’s Soul: The Call and Care of an Undershepherd, by Brian Croft and Jim Savastio. Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2018, 160 pages, $11.99, paper. The good pastor lovingly looks after God’s sheep; it’s his duty, and he stands accountable to the Lord for those entrusted to his care. He finds satisfaction in his work as he becomes involved in the lives of his people. At times he rejoices with them—at other times, he weeps. He instructs the disciple, admonishes the erring, comforts the suffering, counsels the perplexed, and offers gospel hope to the despairing. Since God is for his elect people, the faithful pastor is for them, too. But even the most faithful pastor is in trouble…

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Booknote: Reformed Preaching, by Joel R. Beeke

By Charlie Wingard · January 25, 2020 · 0 Comments
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Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People, by Joel R. Beeke, Wheaton: Crossway, 2018, 504 pages, $23.29, hardback If Reformed pastors enter the pulpit with a defective view of preaching, their efforts will fail. It’s not enough for us to study and prepare – our points may be logical, our attention to detail may be meticulous, and our precision unfolding the text may be exact – but all our labor is in vain if we don’t properly understand what a sermon is supposed to accomplish in the life of a congregation. When we are merely conveyers of information, our churches may grow in understanding of the scriptures, but they will…

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The Christian and Technology

By Charlie Wingard · January 15, 2020 · 0 Comments
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Dr. John V. Fesko will present a six-week series on “The Christian and Technology” at First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. Dinner is served at 6:00, followed by Dr. Fesko at 6:30. Schedule 1/29: Screens 2/5: Social Media 2/12: The Automobile 2/19: The Book 2/26: Unfettered Access to Evil 3/4: Virtual Reality About the Speaker Dr. Fesko is Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson. He was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1998 as a church planter, served as a pastor, Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California. He and his family moved to the Jackson area last summer. Dr. Fesko and his wife, Anneke, have three…

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Booknote: A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities

By Charlie Wingard · January 6, 2020 · 0 Comments
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    A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities, by J. Stephen Yuille, Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2013, x + 136 pages, $15.00, paper. Faithful ministers experience bouts of discouragement, some of them long and intensely painful. Our hearts go out to them: hard work and steadfast prayer have yielded little in the way of visible fruit. Their discouragement can be so severe that they lose sight of the nobility of their work—they are men sent by God to care for his blood-bought church. A second danger may come from the opposite direction: times of growth in God’s church produce pride. If ministers are not careful, they end up claiming for themselves the glory that belongs to God alone. Both…

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Review: “Pastoral Theology, Volume 1: The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life”

By Charlie Wingard · December 31, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  Albert N. Martin, Pastoral Theology, Volume 1: The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life. Montville, NJ: Trinity Pulpit Press, 2018. $42.95, clothbound. More than a century ago James Stalker warned: I believe the question, what is to be the type and the tone of the ministry in any generation, is decided in the theological seminaries. What the students are there, the ministers of the country will be by-and-by. . . The state of feeling in a theological seminary ought to be such, that any man living a life inconsistent with his future profession should feel thoroughly uncomfortable, and have the conviction driven in upon his conscience every day, that the ministry is no place for him (Yale…

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My Year in Books (2019)

By Charlie Wingard · December 29, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  When I finish a book, I add it to my annual “books read” list. My 2019 list is at the end of this post. I don’t have a detailed reading plan – I select books based on interest and recommendations, as well as a desire to improve my cultural awareness. I also use commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and systematic theologies as I prepare two weekly sermons and lectures. Since I seldom read these cover-to-cover, few are found in my lists. 2019 Reading Highlights What follows are some of  my 2019 reading highlights. Several of my comments come from booknotes I wrote earlier in the year. Every year, I read a few substantial volumes in theology. This year I chose Wilhelmus…

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On Pastoral Laziness

By Charlie Wingard · November 26, 2019 · 0 Comments
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At the outset of a difficult topic – pastoral laziness – I want to be clear that my purpose is to encourage both pastors and their congregations. Where conflict arises over the minister’s work ethic, I believe most of the time there is a path forward to strengthen the bonds of affection that should exist between a pastor and his congregation. That said, here are some hard words: Apart from heretical doctrine or immorality, one of the most serious charges that can be levelled against a pastor is sloth. In the judgment of his congregation, he fails to take his cues from the “hard-working farmer,” one of Paul’s models for pastoral ministry (2 Timothy 2:6), and seems unfamiliar with Solomon’s…

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