Book Review: Preventing Ministry Failure

Wilson, Michael Todd & Brad Hoffmann. Preventing Ministry Failure: A ShepherdCare Guide for Pastors, Ministers and Other Caregivers. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Books, 2007. 265 pages, Paperback. $16.00.

(Review copy courtesy of InterVarsity Press.)
Preventing Ministry FailurePurchase: IVP | CBD | Amazon

Special Features: 7 Appendices

Sample Chapter: Table of Contents
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Toward a Vision for SharperIron

BatonIt seems to be a day for firsts. SI’s first change in leadership at the top. My first go at leading anything remotely like SI. And for many of you, I expect, a first impression of what the new guy is like. I’d love to give you a classic for all time. I offer this instead.

Three cheers for “starters”

First, thanks to Jason for biting the bullet, letting go of SI, and being willing to hand it off to a pretty obscure small-town pastor in rural Wisconsin. But I also want to thank him for just being a starter. Guys like me owe a great deal to guys like Jason because guys like me do not start things. We come after, maintain, hopefully grow. But we rarely have the guts to make something where there was nothing. So I’ll add my salute to those of the many who have already thanked Jason for getting SI going.
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The New Owner of SharperIron

Aaron BlumerThe new owner is Aaron Blumer. No, that’s not the guy who has been editing the articles, running the advertising, and contacting authors. That is Adam Blumer. Aaron is his older brother.

Aaron grew up outside Flint, Michigan, and attended several Baptist churches while growing up. He accepted the Lord as Savior around the age of seven. He attended public school for a brief period and then three different Christian schools. After high school, he completed his B.A in Bible Education at Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC). In 1996, he completed his M.Div. at Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN).

He taught school for three years in Georgia and worked for Unisys for a while, doing a variety of jobs. In April 2000, he became pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Boyceville, Wisconsin, where he currently serves.

Aaron sent me a proposal a while back, indicating an interest in SharperIron. I had slowly let the cat out of the bag that I wanted to step out. He laid out a clear vision, and we began to talk.
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The Next Chapter of SharperIron

Janz FamilyThe long-awaited day has finally come. I am stepping out of SI and handing it over. One year ago, I was sent out by my home church to plant a new church in downtown Denver. It soon became obvious to me that my time at SI was coming to an end. The demands of starting a church and the challenge of reaching a secular city would take much of my time and creative energy. So I had to make a decision: pull the plug or hand the site over to new leadership. Nine months ago, I decided to pursue the latter option, but it proved to be difficult. It was not until last month that I felt comfortable with finding a person to take over the ownership of the site. Tomorrow I will introduce him to you.

So this is my farewell. I thought it would be fun to rehearse the history of the site, especially for those who joined and do not know it. I also want to explain the ways it has been a blessing to me. The greatest joy of the site for me is getting to know you, the reader. You have enriched my life over the last several years. I also want to explain to everyone why I feel it is my time to go.
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What Is Clear Biblical Teaching? Part 2

by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.

Read Part 1.

How does a person begin the lifelong process of theological discernment with regard to clear biblical teaching? It must begin with “an unction [enabling] from the Holy One,” which gives us such a potential for God’s truth that we “need not Gospel Readingthat any man teach” us “all things” essential concerning Christ our Lord and the absolute truth of God’s Word (1 John 2:20, 27 KJV).

Of course, this learning does not mean that we need no teachers! The apostle John himself, who wrote those words, was a divinely appointed teacher (cf. Matt. 28:18-20). It means that only the Holy Spirit of God, not any human teacher, however brilliant, can give us the ultimate assurance that biblical truth is ultimate truth. By that measuring stick, we can determine whether a messenger is communicating God’s truth or merely his own finite opinions (“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” 1 John 4:1).
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Book Review: Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective

Sanders, Fred & Klaus Issler, eds. Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology. Nashville: B&H. 2007. 244 pp. Softcover. $24.99.

Purchase: CBD | Amazon

Contributors: Fred Sanders, Garrett J. DeWeese, Donald Fairbairn, Bruce A. Ware, J. Scott Horrell & Klaus Issler.

Sample Chapter

ISBNs: 080544422X / 978-0805444223

DCN: 232

Subjects: Jesus Christ, Christology, Trinity

Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective is a collection of six essays on the person and work of Christ from a Protestant and Chalcedonian perspective. As a work composed of essays by six different authors, the book requires that it be reviewed primarily on a macroscopic level.
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The Bob Jones Gang in Salt Lake City

My wife and I had the privilege to gather with the Bob Jones gang (Bob and Beneth Jones, Jim Berg, and Bill Apelian) at an informal fellowship meeting on Saturday, April 19, at the Courtyard Marriott near the Salt Lake City airport.
Bob Jones GangBob Jones III is a unique university chancellor. He values time, salutes excellence, loves challenge, pursues godliness, and whips the wicked spirit of the age. Yet allow me also to comment on what stands out in my mind as a quality exemplified by Bob that garners much of my respect. He is wonderfully aware and accessible to choice servants of God in remote places. Just recently, he spoke at the centennial anniversary of a church family shepherded by Wayne Cooper in West Virginia. You can hardly find another place that would compete with being so cloistered in a backwoods hollow. Of course, I have to chuckle; Bob has also stayed with Pastor Gary Robbins, way off the beaten track in Southeastern Wyoming. Definitely, the chancellor is a loyal fighter and supporter for the servant of God beyond the limelight and whom many would overlook. Bob, the dissident, definitely has a knack for creating good friction, emphasizing as highly relevant what much in Evangelicalism considers irrelevant. I am glad that he makes it a high priority to regularly reconnect and join with the faithful band of brothers in the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) I-15 corridor.
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The Christian Mystical Tradition(s)

In The Nick of TimeThings that appear to be the same are sometimes quite different in important ways. When judicial activists appeal to the rule of law, for example, they may use exactly the same language as originalists, but their meaning is very different. Discussions of mysticism tend to be like that.

The history of Christian mysticism displays a tension between two impulses that are fundamentally incompatible with each other. Both impulses tend to express themselves in similar language, but what they mean by that language is quite different. Let me briefly describe each of these impulses.

Impulse One: Dionysian Neo-Platonism

A mystical author of the fifth or sixth century adopted the pen name of Dionysius the Areopagite. Known to scholars as “pseudo-Dionysius,” he wrote such works as The Divine Names and The Mystical Theology. Pseudo-Dionysius appears to have imbibed rather heavily of the Platonistic streams that had been flowing into Christian thought since the incursion of Gnosticism during the second century. There is sufficient ambiguity in his writing that we have to be careful in the charges that we bring against him, but he seems to have subordinated certain aspects of Christianity to neo-Platonism. Read more about The Christian Mystical Tradition(s)