Any student of the Bible knows the treasure of doctrine that is found on the pages of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. However, Romans also contains a remarkable amount of personal correspondence. While our theological formulations may come from the doctrinal portions of the book, Paul’s personal correspondence offers a beautiful description of Christian ministry.
As a regular pastor I get excited about the occasional opportunity to “go” to church with my family. While there are certain things I do want to hear on these occasional Sundays, there are also a number of things I don’t want to hear.
In 2008 I was a young pastor in Kentucky. It was Sunday after church, and I was having lunch with one of the coolest guys I knew, an undercover narcotic agent. My law enforcement friend (and his girlfriend) had been visiting our church for several months.
The landscape of evangelicalism in 2018 seems to be dominated by megachurches. This is in large part a result of social media, national conferences, and multi-campus churches. The largest churches in the country, along with their celebrity pastors, are constantly celebrated and championed in the United States.
The truth is, pastors don’t always want to go to church. Some Sundays we’d rather smash the alarm and stay in bed. Whatever the reason, there are Sundays when pastors just don’t want to go to church.
Evangelicals have a deadly problem. Our obsession with celebrity culture is a cancer destroying our churches from the inside out. You can see this obsession on display in a number of places.
I’ve spent the last several months preaching through Exodus at Immanuel. As I’ve studied each week, I’ve worked through a stack of 12 different commentaries. All have been helpful in some way, but after working through most of Exodus these are my top five Exodus commentaries.
Recently I worked through Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. The book is a helpful mix of historical and systematic theology, with much practical application for those engaged in pastoral ministry. One section that I found particularly helpful was Berkhof’s chapter on conversion, which is essentially a chapter about repentance.