Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a true minister of Christ


Later this year Reformation Heritage Books will be publishing A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a true minister of Christ by Rob Ventura and my friend Jeremy Walker. Jeremy blogs here. You can pre-order the book here.

This book looks like it will be a really helpful read.

Here's the blurb:
What does a true pastor look like, and what constitutes a faithful ministry? How can we identify the life and labors of one called by God to serve in the church of Jesus Christ? To address these questions, Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker examine how the apostle Paul describes his pastoral relation to the people of God in Colossians 1:24–2:5.

By discussing these essential attitudes, qualities, and characteristics of a faithful minister of Christ,
A Portrait of Paul provides gospel ministers an example of what they should be, and demonstrates for churches the kind of pastors they will seek if they desire men after God’s own heart.
Here are the chapter headings:
1. The Joy of Paul’s Ministry
2. The Focus of Paul’s Ministry

3. The Hardships of Paul’s Ministry

4. The Origin of Paul’s Ministry

5. The Essence of Paul’s Ministry

6. The Subject of Paul’s Ministry

7. The Goal of Paul’s Ministry

8. The Strength of Paul’s Ministry

9. The Conflict of Paul’s Ministry

10. The Warnings of Paul’s Ministry
The qualifications for pastoral ministry are so important for the life of the church and it is good to see that this book aims to help:
· Churches looking for a pastor will find guidance in what a faithful man of God will look like.

· Christians looking for a church will find a tool by which they can assess the pastors of the flock in the light of God’s Word, finding men to whom they can commit the care of their souls.

· Christians already in a church will be better equipped to pray for their pastors and will further understand what it really means to be shepherded by a man after God’s own heart.

· Ministerial students pursuing the work of the ministry will see a picture of a man they should seek to imitate.

· Pastors will be encouraged to persevere in the high calling of gospel ministry.
Finally the book has been commended by John MacArthur, Geoff Thomas and Sam Waldron:

"The apostle Paul has always been a hero whom I look to as a model for my ministry. His unrelenting faithfulness in the worst kinds of trials is a remarkable example to every pastor and missionary.

In the midst of suffering, hardship, and (in the end) the abandonment of his own friends and fellow workers, Paul remained steadfast, dynamic, and utterly devoted to Christ.

This invaluable study of Paul’s life from Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker is a wonderful, powerful, soul-stirring examination of Paul’s self-sacrifice and his unfaltering service to the church. It will both motivate and encourage you, especially if you’re facing trials, opposition, or discouragement in your service for Christ."

- John MacArthur

"For the first two decades of my life as a Christian, I had an abundance of role models who seemed to enflesh for me how a minister of God should live.

I realize now that I even took their presence and consistent example for granted. I looked forward to the future under the protection of their mature lives of patience, wisdom, and many kindnesses. The labors of most of those men have come to an end and today I face another situation.

There are now numbers of fine younger men in training and starting out on their own ministries. What grace and zeal they have, but there appears to be less role models than the company with which I was favored.

What Walker and Ventura have done in this splendid book is to return to the fountainhead of Christianity, to the apostle Paul with the authority the Lord Christ gave to him, his wisdom and compassion, and examine the apostle’s relationship with one congregation, how he advised and exhorted them concerning the demands of discipleship and their relationship with fellow believers.

Paul became Christ’s servant and mouthpiece to them and he has left us with a timeless inspired example. He exhorted his readers more than once to be followers of him as he followed God.

With a refreshing contemporary style, and with humble submission to the Scripture, these two ministers have given to us a role model for pastoral life. This is a very helpful book and a means of grace to me."

- Geoff Thomas

"What is A Portrait of Paul Identifying a True Minister of Christ? It is, first, the effort of two young pastors to teach themselves and their churches what it means to be a true minister of Christ.

It is, second, an exposition of Colossians 1:24–2:5 which attempts to understand how Paul's ministry gives them and their churches a paradigm of faithful ministry.

It is, third, biblical exposition of Scripture in the best historic and Reformed tradition with careful exegesis, sound doctrine, popular appeal and practical application. As such, it is a very challenging book to read as Rob and Jeremy lay before us, for instance, the selflessness and suffering true ministry requires. It is, however, a good, useful, and profitable book to read. It can, and I hope it will, do much good!"

- Sam Waldron
Rob Ventura is a pastor of Grace Community Baptist Church in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

Jeremy Walker is a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England.

1 comment:

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