Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2nd Timothy is a collection of six sermons from the six plenary sessions of the 2009 Gospel Coalition Conference. The plenary speakers at the conference were John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell and J. Ligon Duncan. These sermons are exemplary in that they are thoroughly grounded in the Bible are Christ-Centered in their focus and Gospel-focused in their application. These sermons will confront you, rebuke you, exhort you, and cause you to worship and praise the God of all grace.
Having attended churches that were program driven rather than Gospel-Driven- words cannot even express how much I appreciate the Gospel Coalition and their work. This book is just a reflection of their overall work. Through blogs, conferences, audio/video and more, the Gospel Coalition seeks to be thoroughly grounded in, by and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words the Gospel is not just a slogan for the Gospel Coalition- it is something that this ministry and movement seeks to think about, breathe, live under and proclaim to the entire world.
This book will challenge you in several ways. First it will challenge you to grow in personal holiness. These messages are delivered by Pastors and Professors who love Jesus and the Church. These are men who have committed their lives to the task of eating, breathing, studying, living and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ contained in the Word of God. Whether you agree with every point they make is irrelevant but you should at least consider their arguments and counsel as they are experienced men whom God is using for the sake of His glory.
Dr. Piper in chapter one challenges us to feed the white hot flame of the Gospel by growing in personal holiness and service unto the Lord. In chapter two Dr. Ryken challenges us to follow the pattern of sound words that Paul gave to Timothy. In chapter three Pastor Mark Driscoll challenges us on the marks of positive ministry and how to deal with difficult people. In chapter four K. Edward Copeland stresses how to deal with the pitfalls and parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry. In chapter five Dr. Bryan Chapell exhorts us from the Word on "Preaching the Word". In chapter six Dr. Ligon Duncan teaches us to finish well.
These sermons as I said earlier will challenge you. The Gospel is necessary for your salvation but it is equally necessary for your sanctification and growth in discipleship. If you are seeking to grow in what it means to live under the Gospel, I encourage you to read this book. Whether you are a Pastor, in a full-time, bi-vocational or just a layman or lay woman- this book will challenge you to see that the Gospel is for all of life. This book will rightly orient your life and ministry around the Gospel by stressing the importance of personal growth in holiness as you serve in ministry.
Picking up this book will challenge you and at times make you uncomfortable. It will challenge your apathy and pride. It will challenge the way you do ministry. In the end though the Christian life isn't about living a comfortable life of easy it is about following the rugged road to the Cross. I recommend you pick up Entrusted for the Gospel that you may grow in personal holiness unto the Lord even as you minister for His glory in whatever capacity He has you in.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Of all the books that I have the privilege of reviewing, I really enjoy reading and reviewing books about the Bible (commentaries, collections of sermons, Biblical stories, etc.). These type of books help to open up the Scriptures in new ways. D.A. Carson did not disappoint in his book entitled "Entrusted with the Gospel". Carson is the editor of a collection of sermons from 2 Timothy. This is a collection of 6 strong sermons that cover all of 2 Timothy. These pastoral expositions offer not only helpful insights into each particular passage but you can also see the theme throughout the collection of sermons. I recommend this book to anyone studying 2 Timothy or who are thinking about studying 2 Timothy.
"Entrusted With the Gospel" is a collection of pastoral addresses from the 2009 Gospel Coalition Conference held in Chicago. Dividing the book of Second Timothy into six sections, John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell and J. Ligon Duncan present a unique, individually flavored, but rock-solid expositional presentation of the pastoral epistle in a neat, effective little volume. Editor D.A. Carson did a wonderful job of taking spoken address and placing it in manuscript while maintaining each pastor's presence, personality and message on the page while maintaining a flowing, cohesive work in all. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, sensing the authors' hard-work and dedication to the project while at the same time feeling challenged, encouraged and even at times a healthy rebuke in my own call as a pastor. Wonderful piece of writing, especially to the benefit of fellow pastors.
"Entrusted With the Gospel" is like a buffet of favorite authors and speakers: Piper and his trademark joy and passion, Ryken and his practically applicable fireside manner, Driscoll and his pull-no-punches edge and savvy, Copeland and his flowing, beautiful language and carriage, Chapell and his magnetic clarity and speech and Duncan in his gentle, intellectual candor_ each one different and unique, yet valuing and accomplishing the clear exposition of the biblical text, presented in their own way. I think Carson summed up well, the value of taking such a unique project (exposition of an entire book of scripture in a series of building keynote addresses at a national conference) and delivering it in such a way that many are encouraged and educated [more deeply about the Gospel and practical application as pastors and leaders]:
"_if you listen to only one preacher all the time, you will become a clone; if you listen to two, you will become confused; if you listen to many, you are on the threshold of becoming wise and of growing into your own style_ _The best of expository preaching takes its message and its thrust, and, ideally, even its form, from the biblical text itself. Most of our preachers managed this superbly while remaining, in form and style, exceedingly diverse. So let wisdom grow and stylistic freedom reign." (9-10) D.A. Carson
The focus of the text itself is centered around the encouragement in the work of the pastorate while focused on the unity of the gospel in the ministry to the church. Taking the wisdom Paul laid down for Timothy, the authors deftly unpack the highs and the lows of pastoral ministry while clearly resounding the call to able handling of the gospel of truth, while joyfully dealing with adversity and suffering for its sake. This is our focusing point, our reason for ministry, our gift, our responsiblity:
"Timothy, keep feeding the white-hot flame of God's gift-of unashamed courage to speak openly of Christ and to suffer for the gospel. Feed it, Timothy. Do that. Fan the flame. Feed that fire. And every time you preach the Word of grace to yourself and strengthen your heart with blood-bought promises of life and help, look deep into eternity to see why you are doing this." (23) John Piper
There is much that could be fleshed out and spoken upon from this volume, but my greatest recommendation is to simply read it, chew on it, implement it. Six sermons, really, but thought-provoking, fiercely practical and uplifting gospel truth for handling and understanding the Word. As pastors, this is a highly recommended read, as a pastoral and preaching resource it provides a fresh wind for those who have labored long and direction to those who have received God's call, new in their lives. It is also recommended to the lay person, as it is not simply for pastors and leaders alone. Really it could also be considered for inclusion as expositional commentary, much in the vein of Boice's "Expositional Commentary" series or Sproul's "St. Andrew's Commentary". The greatest aid this text provides to the lay person is in the explanation of Paul's passionate exhortation to Timothy. It helps the everyday man to understand your pastor's desire (or need) to communicate the importance and transformative power of the gospel while seeing their role to become (as Driscoll terms in his portion) "positives" in the health and ministry of the church.
"There are streams of living water in the Word that satisfy the thirsty heart with God. For this reason the apostle Paul says clearly and passionately, Ã¢â¬ËPreach the Word.' Preach the Word. This should be our privilege and passion, knowing that when we do so, we share the voice, the hand, and the heart of God with thirsty people. Whether they know they are thirsty or not, their hearts' cry is always, Ã¢â¬ËGive me Jesus.'" (124) Bryan Chapell
Entrusted With The Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2 Timothy is one of those rare books that has the potential to impact the lives of, and be appreciated across, a wide spectrum of readers. The book comprises the sermons of six preachers who participated in the 2009 national conference of The Gospel Coalition in Chicago, each asked to teach from and expound the book of 2 Timothy.
If you're a Christian not serving in the pastorate, and you're familiar with 2 Timothy, you might be mistakenly tempted to write this book off as one solely beneficial for pastors or would-be pastors. No question, the expositions herein are of tremendous benefit for pastors, but there is also much to be appreciated by all Christians. The primary focus on and commitment to the truth of the gospel is something we all must appreciate, treasure, and diligently preserve for future generations.
Each of these six men, though quite different in terms of style and background, share a love for Jesus and the gospel, the unifying love that binds the Church and followers of Christ all over the world. I see this as uniquely positive for this book, and ultimately the reader. Here's a look at the men and the sermon titles/texts included:
1. Feed the Flame of God's Gift: Unashamed Courage in the Gospel
John Piper (2 Timothy 1:1-12)
2. The Pattern of Sound Words
Philip Ryken (2 Timothy 1:13-2:13)
3. The Marks of Positive Ministry
Mark Driscoll (2 Timothy 2:14-4:26)
4. Shadowlands: Pittfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry
K. Edward Copeland (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
5. Preach the Word!
Bryan Chapell (2 Timothy 3:10-4:5)
6. Finishing Well
J. Ligon Duncan (2 Timothy 4:6-22)
As you might expect from any book and/or pastor committed to the true exposition of the gospel, this book will challenge you at different points. I appreciate that about this work and I'm sure you will too.
We are not all pastors, but we are all called to go make disciples, to engage our cities and communities through ministries and the use of our God-given gifts. To that end, this book is a beneficial read for all Christians.
You can also check out the videos of the actual sermons, as well as many other excellent resources and blogs, on The Gospel Coalition's website.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway Books as part of their Reviewer Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This book is a compilation of The Gospel Coalition 2009 National Conference. It is a powerful exposition on the book of 2 Timothy. If you are looking to be deeply challenged by Godly men and pastors then you definitely need to read this book. If you are feel stagnant and in need of a jolt in your ministry then you need to read this book. You will be encouraged and lifted up as you do.