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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The USS Midway Museum in San Diego

By Charlie Wingard · November 26, 2019 · 0 Comments
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  Look closely at the photograph to the right of this WWII veteran – a carrier-based Helldiver torpedo bomber manned by a 20-year-old pilot and 17-year-old tail gunner, Joe Neves. Now 92, he is the last surviving WWII veteran to serve with the Navy’s famed Tophatters squadron. Mr. Neves found out about the bombing of Pearl Harbor as he exited a movie theatre in New York City on December 7, 1941. Determined to fight for his country, he had to wait three years until he was 17 and old enough to enlist. I was honored to meet and speak with him last week. He gave me a signed copy of an artist’s rendering of his plane. He told me to…

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Booknote: “The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life” by Albert N. Martin

By Charlie Wingard · November 16, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Albert N. Martin, The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life. Trinity Pulpit Press, 2018. 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 Preaching Lectures, 1891) If theological students are to live…

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Receiving Jesus a Thousand Times

By Charlie Wingard · October 23, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Under the distinguishing marks of saving faith, Wilhelmus à Brakel writes: By faith true believers frequently receive the Lord Jesus with their heart. . . . To Him they turn, Him they desire, for Him they long, Him they receive, upon Him they rely, to Him they surrender themselves, to Him they desire to be united – all by faith. . . . They frequently, if not a thousand times, receive the Lord Jesus by faith. They always believe that their reception of Him has not been as unreserved as it ought to have been and that it has not been with sufficient clarity and sincerity; it was not as whole-hearted as it ought to have been. This receiving of…

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Christ-like Benevolence

By Charlie Wingard · October 21, 2019 · 0 Comments
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After participating in the Lord’s Supper, Wilhelmus à Brakel summons God’s people to reflection. With regard to the public manifestation of our Christianity, he encourages us to think deeply about our benevolence, remembering that we bear the image of Christ. How benevolent the Lord Jesus was! Who did ever depart from Him, being yet uncomforted? Thus it must be with you: Comfort those who grieve, visit the sick, and be generous to the poor. If there is nothing you can give, nevertheless be friendly and manifest your compassion toward them. Let your light thus shine among men and manifest your faith by good works. – The Christian’s Reasonable Service (vol. 2):  The Church and Salvation, trans. by Bartel Elshout. 1700…

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Booknote: “The Faithful Preacher” by Thabiti M. Anyabwile

By Charlie Wingard · October 3, 2019 · 0 Comments
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(Earlier in the year, I posted a book review of The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti M. Anyabwile. It has now been published in the September issue of Reformed Theological Seminary’s online journal, Reformed Faith & Practice.) __________ One of my goals at RTS Jackson is to introduce students to the “neglected voices” of the evangelical church. I am not the best qualified to remedy this neglect, but have made it my habit to assign readings that will help. One such book is Thabiti Anyabwile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007). The book presents biographical sketches of Lemuel Haynes, Daniel Payne, and Francis Grimké, along with selected writings. First, Lemuel Haynes. Born in 1753, he…

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A Life Practiced as Well as Preached

By Charlie Wingard · September 20, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Wise words from John Owen that I must take to heart: “A pastor’s life should be vocal; sermons must be practised as well as preached. . . . . If a man teach uprightly and walk crookedly, more will fall down in the night of his life than he built in the day of his doctrine.” John Owen, The Works of John Owen (ed. William H. Goold; vol. 13; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 57.

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