My Book Review: Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp

dangerous-calling-paul-david-trippThe most important aspect when I read a book about ministry is to understand if the author is actually involved in ministry (of course…), to understand his heart and taste his honesty.

Dangerous Calling is soaked with confessions. Paul Tripp’s confessions, and so many tragedies from the ministry field. Inspired title, Dangerous. Paul knows the problem. If you are preparing for ministry or you are involved in ministry, you can certainly understand that he was and he still is in your shoes. He’s sharing humbling and embarrassing things that most of us tend to hide.

I know I am not alone. There are many pastors who have inserted themselves into a spiritual category that doesn’t exist. Like me, they think they are someone they’re not. So they respond in ways that they shouldn’t, and they develop habits that are spiritually dangerous. They are content with a devotional life that either doesn’t exist or is constantly kidnapped by preparation

He examines his heart and motivations in ministry and invites you to walk in his steps, constantly asking himself, how is the Gospel of Jesus Christ forming the heart of the pastor and his ministry local culture. Undoubtedly, if you do not understand the ministry as it was designed by God, you are in a dangerous place. If the work of God and not God Himself is the main motivation, you are in a dangerous place.

The pastor must be enthralled by, in awe of—can I say it: in love with—his Redeemer so that everything he thinks, desires, chooses, decides, says, and does is propelled by love for Christ and the security of rest in the love of Christ. He must be regularly exposed, humbled, assured, and given rest by the grace of his Redeemer. His heart needs to be tenderized day after day by his communion with Christ so that he becomes a tender, loving, patient, forgiving, encouraging, and giving servant leader. His meditation on Christ—his presence, his promises, and his provisions—must not be overwhelmed by his meditation on how to make his ministry work.

You can feel the love for those who are involved in God’s work and also his pain for the unhealthy pastoral culture that anyone can identify today. The only remedy is Christ.

You see, it is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry. It is only worship of Christ that has the power to protect him from all the seductive idols of ministry that will whisper in his ear. It is only the Citește în continuare „My Book Review: Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp”

Broken windows

It’is difficult sometimes to understand certain passages from Scripture. It becomes even harder when you have to communicate them so they can be understood. Of course, the Holy Spirit lights up and opens the heart of the listeners but I’m not desconsidering the preparation and the personal effort.

The sermon illustrations play a vital role in the communication and the reception of the truth. God told Noah to „build a window in the boat”. The sermon illustrations, in this respect, are „windows”, as Spurgeon mentioned. You might bring a lot of fog with plenty definitions and theological explanations but inserting a good illustration will bring clarity and practicability to your message. It will bring freshness and will make „the air to circulate in your exposure”.

On the other hand, you can inflict damage to your text with an awkward illustration. I remember the sermon evaluation tests at the seminary. You can hear many homiletic pearls if you have the patience to listen. And I have also used many, let’s say, strange illustrations. God have mercy. That’s why we were assessing the sermons after, to learn from our mistakes.

Such an illustration, from a sermon, got stuck in my mind.

Our colleague spoke from 1Cor. 3:12, 13, describing what means to build on gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw and that each man’s work will become evident, and the Lord’s day will show it.
But he wasn’t very inspired. He used the story of the three little pigs to support his message. And he was preaching with passion on „how the wolf arrived at the first house of straw and blew (and he blew too, as though he had been the wolf) and the house falls down. Got to the second one, made of wood (and again blows) and the house falls down. At the third one, made of stone, the wolf blows and keeps blowing … until he falls fainted because of so much air flow. That’s why we must be careful on what and how we build, because in the end, each man’s work will become evident. 🙂