Field Notes – 16/12/S
RC Sproul went to be with His Saviour a couple of days ago. Tim Challies has a roundup of the tributes, recollections that have been written. Kevin DeYoung highlights Sproul’s sermon on The Curse Motif of the Atonement as one of the best he’s heard. And you can download a free ebook of Justified by Faith Alone.
Of all the things tweeted and blogged, what stood out for me, was the last line of the last sermon he preached on Hebrews 2:1-4:
“I pray with all my heart that God will awaken each one of us today to the sweetness, the loveliness, the glory of the gospel declared by Christ.”
Jeremy Walker gave an excellent talk to a local fraternal I was at earlier this week on passing the baton.
All the points he made flowed from the conviction that when it comes to training up pastors, 1) the Scriptures are sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16-17); and 2) the local church is central (1 Timothy 3:14-15).
To train up men for pastoral ministry, he showed was:
- An Additional Investment: this above and beyond the regular ministry of the local church yet not an optional extra.
- A Selective Investment: involves identify men with grace to learn and gift to teach.
- A Deliberate Investment: not from time to time but thoughtful, careful, systematic instruction. A pattern of sound teaching will include Biblical, Historical, Systematic and Pastoral Theology.
- A Personal Investment: spending time pouring into a man or men.
- A Sacrificial Investment: it will be costly for you (time, energy, money, own opportunities, sometimes disappointment – like Paul experienced with Demas); it will be costly for them (time, energy, for their family, money); and it will be costly for the church (listening to them learn to preach; supporting them; financially; sending them away).
- An Urgent Investment: who would hold things on the right course in the church if the Lord called you home, plus there’s also the great need of men to go to where there are people with no opportunity to hear the gospel; it is urgent because we need to make sure that when we’re gone there is someone standing in our place and in other places.
- A Long-Term Investment: it takes years to get a Timothy!
- A Shared Investment: few men and churches have all the gifts and resources to do all this in isolation – there is a place for institutions like Bible Colleges and seminaries, but also for co-operation with likeminded churches.
For Logos users, you can get The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series at 50% off at the moment.
All of the seminars from last month’s FIEC Leaders’ Conference are now available to download.
“When a pastor finds a wolf in his flock, he must discern how to get that wolf out with as few a sheep in his mouth as possible.” (Mark Dever)