Booknote: “Pastoral Theology, Volume 3” by Albert N. Martin

By Charlie Wingard · January 17, 2023 · 0 Comments
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x I’m keen on Puritan and Reformed works in pastoral theology. At their best, they never separate three indissolubly linked areas of ministerial life: personal piety, preaching, and pastoral care. Albert N. Martin’s three volume work is a notable contribution to this great tradition. Since volume one appeared in 2018, I have made volume one, The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life, a required text in my first-year Pastoral Ministry course, and have found helpful lecture materials in volume two, The Man of God: His Preaching and Teaching Labors (links to both reviews in Reformed Faith & Practice provided). Martin’s knowledge and use of classic texts in pastoral theology is extensive. I tell students that were they to write down the texts he cites…

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My Year in Books (2022)

By Charlie Wingard · December 30, 2022 · 1 Comment
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When I finish reading or listening to a book, I add it to my annual “books read” list. My 2022 list is at the end of this post. 2022 Reading Highlights Harry Lee Poe’s The Completion of C. S. Lewis surveys the final eighteen years of Lewis’s life. The author provides concise information about the books and articles, placing them in the context of Lewis’s unfolding life and the broader world of English literature. The circumstances of Lewis’s transition from Oxford to Cambridge are thoroughly reviewed. Attention is given to his many friendships and marriage, late in life, to Joy Davidman Gresham. Regarding Lewis, Helen Gardner wrote, “It was impossible to be indifferent to him” (75). And I am not. His books have enriched…

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Happy Anniversary!

By Charlie Wingard · December 27, 2022 · 0 Comments
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Bear with me . . . This post is going somewhere. Manokin Presbyterian Church in Princess Anne, Maryland, was organized in 1683. The structure pictured here was erected in 1765, although the Bell Tower did not go up until 1888. The establishment of Manokin Presbyterian Church was the fruit of God’s grace through the work of Francis Makemie (1658-1708), who is deservedly known as “The Father of American Presbyterianism.” Makemie planted the first Presbyterian church in Snow Hill, Maryland, and four other churches on the Delmarva Peninsula. But you can’t have Presbyterianism without a Presbytery, and under Makemie’s leadership, the first American Presbytery, the Presbytery of Philadelphia, was organized in 1706, and he was elected its first moderator. My admiration…

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Our Dog Jem

By Charlie Wingard · December 21, 2022 · 1 Comment
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  This morning Lynne and I buried our beloved dog, Jem. For 17 years and 8 months, he brought happiness to our home. His sister, Scout, passed last year. Jem and Scout came to us in 2005 – long-haired miniature dachshunds from a Kentucky breeder. At the time, I was not a pet person, so Lynne let me name them after the sibling duo of our favorite American novel. Willie Morris and my former boss, Jack Cotton, wrote books about their dogs, My Dog Skip and A Dog’s Guide to Life: Lessons from “Moose” respectively. Lacking their literary gifts and keen insights into the canine/human affinity, I’ll make only a few comments. Good parents don’t play favorites. That said, I…

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Booknote: “The Completion of C.S. Lewis: From War to Joy (1945-1963)” by Harry Lee Poe

By Charlie Wingard · December 5, 2022 · 0 Comments
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  The Completion of C. S. Lewis: From War to Joy (1945-1963), by Harry Lee Poe. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2022, 413 pages, $34.16, cloth. Sometimes work forces me to read. Lectures and sermons must be prepared, and reading is indispensable to the process. Whether I find the reading especially enjoyable or not, the commentaries and theological books and articles must be attended to. But apart from work, I read mostly for pleasure, and Harry Lee Poe’s three-volume biography of Lewis has been for me sheer pleasure. In addition to surveying the life of one of the twentieth century’s great writers and formidable Christian apologists, I have had opportunity during the past year to read for the first time several of Lewis’s…

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Booknote: “The Birth of Christ” by J.V. Fesko

By Charlie Wingard · December 2, 2022 · 0 Comments
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In his new book, The Birth of Christ, John Fesko gives readers five finely crafted and theologically rich meditations on the meaning our Savior’s birth. I’ll point to but one of the book’s many gems. The Virgin Mary treasured the Old Testament. Its language shaped her praise. Reflecting on the Magnificat, Fesko writes: Bible knowledge is not only for future pastors but for every Christian. Children learn to speak by repeating their parents’ words back to them. We can apply the same principle to the children of God. We learn to speak words of praise by repeating God’s own Word back to Him. Do we know enough Scripture to speak biblically shaped words of praise back to our heavenly Father?…

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Booknote: “Well Ordered, Living Well” by Guy Waters

By Charlie Wingard · November 25, 2022 · 0 Comments
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  Most of us give little thought to matters of government until order breaks down. When institutions critical to life are poorly governed, people are exposed to danger and deprived of the innumerable benefits that sound structure and skilled leadership produce. This is true of government in the home, in the school, in the community, and in the church. In Well Ordered, Living Well: A Field Guide to Presbyterian Church Government, Guy Waters correctly contends that “we all need church government to live our Christian life well” (ix). The ensuing pages give clear biblical instruction on the church — its members, its officers, its assemblies, and the ordination of men to the offices of the church. About the church’s officers,…

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Readings in American Presbyterianism with My Students

By Charlie Wingard · November 23, 2022 · 0 Comments
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A highlight of this semester has been reading and discussing these books with four students at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson. With the exception of Southern Presbyterian Leaders, we read all books in their entirety. Rereading David Calhoun’s two-volume history of old Princeton was especially rewarding. The piety of its professors, the plan of the seminary, and its commitment to preparing theologically minded and biblically grounded pastors makes its history timely for anyone who cares about the future of the Presbyterian church in the United States. At various time, students mentioned various publications of Log College Press. I am grateful for its efforts to keep in print notable works by Presbyterians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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First Presbyterian Church – 181 Years of Worship and Witness

By Charlie Wingard · August 15, 2022 · 2 Comments
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Today marks the 181st anniversary of the founding of  First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The church has its beginnings in the protracted meetings that once played a vital role in the religious and social life of Southern protestants. Believers from various denominations, some traveling many miles on shabby, bone-jarring roads, gathered to pitch camp and enjoy several days of fellowship, fine cooking, and the preaching of God’s word. In late summer 1841, the kind Methodists of Benton, Mississippi hosted one such meeting. Gathering with them was a handful of Presbyterians from Yazoo City, who organized Yazoo Church on August 15, 1841. The church’s name was changed in 1843 to First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The Rev. Richmond McInnis…

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Booknote: “Theology for Ministry” by Chad Van Dixhoorn et al.

By Charlie Wingard · July 26, 2022 · 0 Comments
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I will be adding  Theology for Ministry: How Doctrine Affects Pastoral Life and Ministry to my required reading list for students. Twenty-six pastor-theologians, touching upon every major area of ministry, winsomely demonstrate how theology gives shape to a godly pastorate. That this book honors Sinclair Ferguson is especially appropriate — his books, lectures, and sermons mine God’s word and Reformation theology, and set their riches before God’s beloved church. I can think of no better model of ministerial work. Since 2017 Sinclair Ferguson has served as Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary.

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