Monday, June 04, 2007

Watch your life and doctrine closely: my rationale for interviews

There will be more interviews to come in the next few weeks on handling truth and error in the ministry. My thanks to Geoff Thomas, Derek Thomas, Scott Clark, Carl Trueman and Michael Horton for their insights and wisdom.

I personally find interviews very stimulating. They give you a feel for the person behind the pulpit and the books. They are also able to flesh out "right" answers with experience. The latter can show us something of the trials and costliness of pastoral ministry.

Here is something of my rationale for conducting these interviews:

I hope that these interviews will serve three aims for three groups of people.

The first group consists of those considering, training for, and actually engaged in pastoral ministry.

The second group consists of those who weekly hear, reflect on, and seek to put into practice the teaching ministry of the first group. It is the Church that supplies men for the ministry, and (not to be neglected) financially sustains this work.

The third, and smallest group, consists of those entrusted with teaching, training, mentoring, pastoring, and correcting the first group for the sake of the life and health of the second group. This third group consists of those who teach the teachers at seminaries and theological colleges.

My aims for this series of interviews are:

1. To provide a window on the personal context of dealing with theological error.

2. To encourage serious biblical thinking on the nature and danger of heresy in the context of proclaiming and teaching the whole counsel of God.

3. To learn lessons from the Bible, the creeds, the Reformed confessions, and Church history to help foster reflection and action on the challenges, threats, and opportunities of our own times.

I hope then that the interviews will do far more than inform. My hope is that they will promote a personal watchfulness, humility, love for the truth, discernment, wisdom, historical awareness and steadfastness.

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