Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

By Charlie Wingard · February 18, 2021 · 0 Comments
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Today is the 240th anniversary of the birth of pioneer missionary Henry Martyn, born February 18, 1781 in Truro, England. As a young man Martyn excelled in classical and mathematical studies. The tender concern of a believing sister, the pain of his father’s death, and the godly counsel of a Cambridge mathematic’s instructor compelled him to read the New Testament. During his personal study of the scriptures, Martyn came to a living faith in Jesus Christ and was soundly converted. While at St. John’s College in Cambridge, Martyn sat under the preaching of Charles Simeon, vicar of holy Trinity Church. Modern evangelicals, regrettably, have largely forgotten Simeon. Yet, his influence on evangelical history is incalculable. During his 54-year ministry at…

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My Baptism (January 10, 1960)

By Charlie Wingard · January 10, 2021 · 0 Comments
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I was baptized 61 years ago today. Here, my Uncle John is holding me in his lap. He drove from Memphis to Farmington, Missouri to baptize me on January 10, 1960. At the time, my father was assistant superintendent of the Presbyterian Home for Children of Missouri. Three weeks earlier, just before my second birthday, I was formally adopted into the family of George and Roberta Wingard, believers in Christ and members of the Covenant of Grace. Good Presbyterians, they believed the promises of the covenant are for believers and their children. Together, parents and child, share the sign and seal of the covenant – baptism. As many have said, when the sheep belong to the Savior, the lambs do,…

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My Year in Books (2020)

By Charlie Wingard · December 30, 2020 · 0 Comments
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    When I finish reading or listening to a book, I add it to my annual “books read” list. My 2020 list is at the end of this post. 2020 Reading Highlights This year I devoted time to reading Scottish preachers and theologians. I returned to some old companions who have served me well through the years: the memoirs of Boston and McCheyne and John Macleod’s Scottish Theology, to name just three. A new favorite is Donald Macleod’s Therefore the Truth I Speak: Scottish Theology 1500-1700. His  biographical sketches and survey of key events and theological literature of the period make for a compelling story, exceedingly well told. For readers who long for a deeper understanding of the heart, Craig…

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Booknote: “The Man of God: His Preaching and Teaching Labors” by Albert N. Martin

By Charlie Wingard · December 29, 2020 · 0 Comments
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Albert N. Martin, Pastoral Theology, Volume 2: The Man of God: His Preaching and Teaching Labors.  Montville, NJ: Trinity Pulpit Press, 2018. $32.50, clothbound. Forty years ago, I was a student pastor preaching weekly in four rural Tennessee churches. Lacking both a seminary education and field supervision, I was on my own and needed help. Books on preaching were a gift from God as they brought me through my first year in the pulpit. Since then, I have read at least two or three every year – a practice I commend to my seminary students. This practice of reading contributed to my maturity as a preacher. Without books, my ministry and preaching would be impoverished. Time spent talking about preaching with…

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Decisions Made for Me

By Charlie Wingard · December 16, 2020 · 0 Comments
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I never knew my biological mother. Thirty years old and unmarried, she chose to deliver me, her fifth child, in another part of the state, away from family pressure to keep me. She had a ninth grade education. I am grateful to her for giving me life, for making a choice to put me up for adoption. Hers was a decision made for me, one that set the trajectory of my life. 61 years ago today – my Dad’s 36th birthday and two days before my second birthday – I was adopted into the family of George and Roberta Wingard.  The decision to make me part of their family was wholly theirs. During my childhood and teenage years, they read…

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Booknote: “With All Your Heart” by A. Craig Troxel

By Charlie Wingard · December 2, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  With All Your Heart: Orienting Your Mind, Desires and Will toward Christ, by A. Craig Troxel. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020, 220 pages, $13.39, paper. Every redeemed saint aspires to love God with all his heart—nothing is more precious to him than cultivating a heart for God. But what is the heart? Like so many frequently used words, it can be spoken without much thought. For many, loving from the heart is to have strong feelings for someone else—like a romantic attachment or friendship. At best this is an incomplete understanding and will not satisfy the Christian. For readers who long for a deeper understanding of the heart, Craig Troxel’s With All Your Heart will prove valuable. With the skill…

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“Like an Old-Time Circuit Rider”

By Charlie Wingard · November 27, 2020 · 1 Comment
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  My approach to pastoral ministry is little more than doing what I saw my dad do. I cherish this 1951 article.*  The second half describes the work of my dad, George Wingard, in his first pastorate. He was, it reads, “very much like an old-time circuit rider, except that he does his riding in a Chevrolet Carryall.” My father served in a home mission field in the rural mountains and valleys of Searcy County, Arkansas, a field that included Presbyterian Chapel, Welcome Church, Garrett Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Lyon Chapel. I remember my parents reminiscing about places like Marshall and Snowball. The article depicts my dad as I remember him: hardworking, cooperative with other Christian denominations, and willing to…

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Booknote: “The Preacher’s Catechism” by Lewis Allen

By Charlie Wingard · November 13, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  The Preacher’s Catechism, by Lewis Allen. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018, 226 pages, $10.92. Years ago someone pointed out to me that a principal value of a catechism is to teach students to ask the right questions. Since the seventeenth century the Westminster Shorter Catechism has taught believers to ask (and answer) the right questions about the Bible, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, man’s duty to God, the way of salvation, and the means of grace. Employing the Westminster Shorter Catechism as his model, Lewis Allen’s The Preacher’s Catechism helps preachers ask the right questions about their lives and ministries. He is convinced that it “is an outstanding resource for the heart needs of every preacher” (21), a conviction…

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Booknote: “Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards” by Alan Strange

By Charlie Wingard · October 5, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ in the Westminster Standards, by Alan D. Strange. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2019, xviii + 158 pages, $7.79, paper. The doctrine of the imputation of the active obedience of Christ in the justification of believers is vital to Reformed pastoral care. It is the desire of my heart that every sheep in my flock come to the assurance “that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (WCF 18.1). Active obedience, correctly understood, is a joy and comfort to the believer, assuring him of his right standing before God. God is righteous and requires that all who come before him be righteous.…

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Booknote: “The Care of Souls” by Harold L. Senkbeil

By Charlie Wingard · September 29, 2020 · 0 Comments
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  Harold L. Senkbeil, The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019, xxvi+ 296, $15.85, hardcover. The COVID pandemic has interrupted our face-to-face relationships. Recently a friend mentioned that his choir scheduled a Zoom meeting so everyone could see and hear each other. The goal was to maintain contact and encourage; but he said it had the opposite effect on him. The online gathering left him even more pained, reinforcing what has been lost and intensifying the pain of separation. True pastoral ministry must be face-to-face. There is no substitute for it. Too often books on pastoral ministry focus on technique, offering skills that pastors must have to manage people, in this case the church. They…

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