Rarely does one find a modrern book that lifts one up to the level of spiritual and theological excellance that is to be found here. This is more than a book of encouragement for preachers. It is an encyclopedia of divinity drawn drawn from teh writings and lives of those Puritan divines whom God raised up to be examples of excellence to his church for all time to come. Not a page of what the authors give us her is dry or out of date.. Those who want new wings to fly aloft in their ministerial work could hardly do better than to read and re-read this book.
Puritan theology has a distinctive shape, inevitably molding both the content and goal of preaching and piety. These essays are valuable contributions to our understanding of the effects of Reformed and Puritan theology on church life and practice. I am deeply grateful for this important volume, not least for the finesse with which it handles otherwise difficult concepts with ease and eminent practicality. An outstanding achievement.
-Derek W. Thomas
As the fresh sea breeze, these Puritan mentors refresh our senses as they discuss the office, calling, and blessing of pastoral ministry. This small compendium contains more useful guidance than some whole seminary curriculae. Any pastor seeking wisdom, any pastor needing fuel should turn to these godly and biblical counselors. Their ideas, as well as passion, are needed now more than ever. It is so refreshing to hear from real experts, proven pastors not the hirelings. Like eavesdropping on a Roundtable of worthies, this conversation is priceless (and not overpriced!). Drink from this well often; it will help your flocks, along with their shepherds. I commend this heartily to all our friends and the next generation of pastors.
pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church of America, Atlanta, Georgia
There are men in the church of Jesus Christ who are not mighty preachers or evangelists, but are outstanding servants of the Lord because of their God-given ability to visit a congregation and spread encouragement. The very news of their coming can lift the spirits of a church with anticipation and then their actual ministries, both privately and publicly, can renew the aspirations of young and old in Christ. Full of faith and the Holy Spirit, these people are the means under God of building up the morale of wilting congregations, giving them courage and making God s people feel they can stand, and they can go on, and that they will indeed overcome a time of heaviness. Such Christian leaders are inspirational men and their ministries make people feel strong. Of course it is God who gives such gifts to them to do this. The same Spirit that came upon Barnabas and made him a son of encouragement is upon them, and hundreds like them in our day. But as in all the stewardship of preaching and pastoral graces, such a gift needs to be refined, educated, and stirred up. This is one of the grand benefits that comes from the careful and prayerful reading of this book. You owe it to the people of God to become a son or daughter of encouragement. It is an exercise of Christian prudence, and an energizing ministry of the Spirit of God to do this in you and through you to the body of Christ.
pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales