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  1. Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Treasure!
    February 3, 2018
    Jimmy Reagan
    Leesville, SC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is not at all what I expected when I first picked it up and began reading. In fact, I felt at times that the title did not match the contents. On most occasions, when a book does not live up to its title or the expectation the title produced, it fails. In this case, I may surprise you by saying that this book is Five-Star plus!

    It turns out that its actually a compilation of many articles that Sinclair Ferguson has written over his long pastoral career. That approach often lands with a thud in many books that Ive seen, but somehow those articles again made a magical whole here. Mr. Ferguson brings three incredible traits to the table that make this book a success: hes an astute historian, a probing theologian, and an engaging writer. I offer that praise even though I dont always agree with his theological conclusions. A book that can get me thinking as deeply as this one does is my friend.

    The first 18 chapters are primarily a deep dive into three of Mr. Fergusons heroes: John Calvin, John Owen, and John Murray (I guess only those named John need apply!) In each of these three pastor/theologians cases he highlights their passion for preaching and pastoring coupled with an explanation of their theology. The theology never bogs down what is quite interesting biographical writing.

    Chapters 19-31 are deep theology. Though he uses some of the explanations of his heroes mentioned above, Mr. Ferguson often wrote with more clarity, verve, and accessibility than they did. Again, I didnt agree with all of his conclusions as I am not a reformed Presbyterian as he is, but with great warmth he laid the issues clearly on the table.

    The final section is a bit more of a hodgepodge, but is in the category the books title led you to believe the whole book is about. He covers exegetical preaching, preaching Christ from the Old Testament, the preacher as a theologian, preaching the atonement, preaching to the heart, preaching and the Reformed theological tradition, followed by a preachers Decalogue, which was a very interesting list of things that he wishes he had heard earlier in his ministry. Only in his epilogue did the author leave off the emphasis on Christ and replace it with his own passion for reformed theology.

    When you finally finish this book, you will then realize why perhaps the author felt comfortable with his title after all. Quite frankly, he thinks a pastor is not worth his salt who cant ply theology. After Ive thought about it, hes correct.

    This book is best done as a slow read. Its thick and so will take an investment of time. Take it. You wont regret it.

    I received this book free from the publisher. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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