A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a True Minister of Christ
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Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Reformation Heritage / Soli Deo Gloria
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
The Reformed ReaderLouisvilleAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5An Amazing Challenging book! Buy it and Apply it!June 13, 2011The Reformed ReaderLouisvilleAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Book Review: A Portrait of Paul
Is your church looking for a pastor? Do you desire to be an elder within a church? Are you curious as to how you can pray for your pastor? All these questions are answered and explained in Rob Ventura's and Jeremy Walker's book A Portrait of Paul. Ventura and Walker pull lessons from Paul to instruct, challenge, and call congregation to re-evaluate their understanding of the role of a pastor. Venture and Walker get their "Portrait of Paul" from Colossians 1:24-2:5. Being one who desires to be an elder within a church, I found this book extremely challenging/convicting. Walker proves his name correct by giving the reader a roundhouse kick to the face every single chapter of the book. To reiterate this, Venture and Walker did a great job, in that every chapter felt like a Chuck Norris kick to the face (I wanted to make sure my Walker analogy was understood). One aspect I loved about the book was that every chapter has a section for how congregants can pray for the pastor. Within every chapter there is a section set off for the lay person titled "Fellow Christian." Also, within every chapter there is a section devoted to application specifically for the pastor, titled "Fellow Pastor." A key theme is explained in every chapter. The conclusion of the chapter is set apart for application for the lay person and for pastor. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the fact that it was saturated with scripture. I think Spurgeon quote would be accurate for this book "if you poked this book it would bleed Bibline." With all honesty if you removed scripture from this book it probably would be maybe 7 pages long (I honestly do not believe I am exaggerating with this idea). You may be thinking why buy the book if it is just a list of bible references? Both writers do a phenomenal job exegeting the passages and drawing implications from these passages. Although I am not in a position as a ruling elder within the church, I was challenged anew on how to prepare myself for future ministry within the church and how I could pray regularly for my pastor. If your church is currently seeking a pastor or is curious as to what the responsibilities of an elder are, then read this book. This book is a must read for anyone who aspires to be an elder. Those who desire to see a genuine revival within your church, buy this book and apply this book.
~The Reformed Reader~
Jim DommEnglewood, NJAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5A Must Read!February 12, 2011Jim DommEnglewood, NJAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is a must read. How many times have you heard that before? But it's trueâ€”really. Men in the ministry, men aspiring to the ministry, and churches evaluating men for the ministry simply must read this book. Extremely well written, weighty with content and substance, but not heavy to read, there's nothing fluffy here. Some reviewers have commented on how convicting the book is. It is that. But it's also extremely encouraging, especially for men who take the ministry seriously, and have had a taste of ministerial suffering. Applications are searching and practical, coming evidently, not from academic theoreticians, but ecclesiastical practitioners. Christ-centered and thoroughly biblical, it would be difficult for a gospel minister, or one in the making, to read this book and not profit from it. As another reviewer has said, here is a great gift to give your pastor.
John WakefieldOrillia, OntarioAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Highly recommendedDecember 9, 2010John WakefieldOrillia, OntarioAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5It is my privilege to know the authors through a pastors' conference we attend. So I had confidence, even before I picked up the book that it would be worthwhile reading. But I had no idea of how God would powerfully impact my life through the book.
It's easy, as a pastor, to lose focus in the midst of so many demands upon our time; or to get into a rut, just doing things one week because you did them the week before. The exposition of Paul's ministry to the Colossian church and its applications to the modern pastor and church in this book, helped me to refocus on the things that are most important in the service of Christ. My mind was instructed, my heart encouraged, and conviction often drove me to my knees to cry out to our Saviour for grace to be a faithful pastor.
Both men have written with great insight. At times, I felt like they were sitting in my congregation. At other times, it seemed like they were with me in my study, with a clear understanding of my heart. It was just what I needed to spur me on to seek greater likeness to the great Shepherd.
The book is profitable for both pastors and church members. At times, I was eager to get to the "Fellow Christian" application. The "Fellow Pastor" sections were just as challenging and helpful. I highly recommend the book. It is already on my read again list. It is a book that demands the accompaniment of prayer.
Terry Delaney5 Stars Out Of 5Must reading for the PastorOctober 11, 2010Terry DelaneyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5As a book reviewer, I do not have much to really critique since the book is an exposition of Colossians 1:24-2:5. Ventura and Walker strike at the heart of what is wrong with so much in the pastoral ministry today quite simply because so many of the pastors in the ministry are not following God's word for pastors. A Portrait of Paul, while about the apostle Paul is extremely Christo-centric in its approach and application. In other words, when Christ says, "I am the vine and you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing" (emphasis added), He means it-especially for pastors.
As a pastor, I needed this book. There were sections I read which brought me to tears as I realized just how frail and unbiblical a pastor I am. While it may surprise some to hear that a pastor is not perfect (some pastor's actually suffer from a "God-complex!"), I can readily admit that I have much room for improvement. Especially when compared to the "job description" laid out for us by Paul in Colossians 1:24-2:5.
If you are a pastor, please pick up this book. If you are thinking about going into the ministry, this book is an must read-you may quickly learn that the pastoral calling is not for you! If you have a pastor, pick up a copy today and give it to them. We are indebted to Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker for writing this book. While many may not read Baxter's Reformed Pastor because it was written so long ago by a (gasp!) Puritan that it can't possibly speak to us today, they would readily pick up this book given its "modern" take on the ministry. In so doing, they will be the greater for it and the congregation in which they are the undershepherd will reap the benefits.
Terry Delaney5 Stars Out Of 5June 4, 2010Terry DelaneyAs a book reviewer, I do not have much to really critique since the book is an exposition of Colossians 1:24-2:5. Ventura and Walker strike at the heart of what is wrong with so much in the pastoral ministry today quite simply because so many of the pastors in the ministry are not following Gods word for pastors. A Portrait of Paul, while about the apostle Paul is extremely Christo-centric in its approach and application. In other words, when Christ says, I am the vine and you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing (emphasis added), He means itespecially for pastors.As a pastor, I needed this book. There were sections I read which brought me to tears as I realized just how frail and unbiblical a pastor I am. While it may surprise some to hear that a pastor is not perfect (some pastors actually suffer from a God-complex!), I can readily admit that I have much room for improvement. Especially when compared to the job description laid out for us by Paul in Colossians 1:24-2:5.If you are a pastor, please pick up this book. If you are thinking about going into the ministry, this book is an must readyou may quickly learn that the pastoral calling is not for you! If you have a pastor, pick up a copy today and give it to them. We are indebted to Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker for writing this book. While many may not read Baxters Reformed Pastor because it was written so long ago by a (gasp!) Puritan that it cant possibly speak to us today, they would readily pick up this book given its modern take on the ministry. In so doing, they will be the greater for it and the congregation in which they are the under shepherd will reap the benefits.
Author: Rob Ventura
Located in: Cranston, Rhode Island
Submitted: April 20, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself. I graduated from the Reformed Baptist Seminary in 2006. I am one the pastors at Grace Community Baptist Church in Rhode Island. I am married and have three wonderful children.
What was your motivation behind this project? As a new pastor entering into the full time ministry, I had been asking myself the questions, What kind of minister am I going to be? and What type of ministry do I want to pursue in the church where I labor? While preaching a series of consecutive expository sermons through the book of Colossians, chapters 1:24 to 2:5, I found the main answers to my questions, and thought that what I had learned from Gods Word would be helpful to others. After seeking counsel from several trusted men, I was encouraged to pursue this project. In studying this section of Colossians, I was utterly struck and extremely challenged by the life and labors of the Apostle Paul and became convinced that he portrays an outstanding model for biblical ministry. For churches seeking men to fill their pulpits, he serves as an excellent example of the sort of man whom churches should pursue. For the gospel minister, he provides an excellent picture of what the man of God must strive to be by Gods grace.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? The aim is to put in the hands of God's people a brief but helpful guide to enable them to understand and identify what a true minister of Christ looks like and how he lives and works. This book looks at the life and ministry of the apostle Paul, as set forth in Colossians 1:24 to 2:5, as a model and standard for the ministry of the Lord Christ. According to the Scriptures, every spiritually healthy child of God should be part of a healthy local church and under the care of her under-shepherds: this portrait of Paul will help you to make wise choices in every aspect of this vital matter. Here, churches looking for a pastor will find guidance in what a faithful man of God will look like. Christians looking for a church will find a tool by which they can assess the pastors of the flock in the light of Gods Word, finding men to whom they can commit the care of their souls. Christians already in a church will be better equipped to pray for their pastors and will further understand what it really means to be shepherded by a man after Gods own heart. Ministerial students pursuing the work of the ministry will see a picture of a man they should seek to imitate. Pastors and church planters our brothers in this labor will, like us, have to deal with sins and shortcomings, but will also find here the model of a Christlike man, made competent by Gods saving grace in Jesus for the work to which he was called, a man who stirs us up to pursue the high calling with which we have been called. We hope that by these means we might help to promote and encourage faithfulness to God in gospel ministry, encouraging and assisting men who seek to follow Paul, just as he also followed Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Studying these verses in Colossians phrase by phrase utterly challenged me to the core. Paul was the real deal - this is how I want to be by God's great grace.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Spurgeon, Al Martin, Jim Domm, W.R. Downing, Greg Nichols, MacArthur, A.W. Pink etc.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: My prayer is that everyone who reads this book will be richly blessed and instructed in their own souls and that through the book God's most excellent Name will be magnified by all. Thank you for reading it. Yours in Christ, ~Rob Ventura