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Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Hardcover – October 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“My friend Paul Tripp shines the spotlight of God’s Word into the heart of every pastor in this book, Dangerous Calling. If you have been in ministry for 20 minutes or 20 years, I commend it to you. Approach it prayerfully, passionately, and be prepared for the change God will make in your heart, life, and ministry.”
James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church

“This book is ‘good’ in the same way that heart surgery is good. It's painful and scary and as you read it you'll be tempted to run away from the truth it contains. But it just might save your life. Pastors need this book. I know I really needed it. It challenged me and rebuked me even as it gave me hope and fresh faith in God for pastoral ministry.”
Joshua Harris, Former Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

"Dangerous Calling is a dangerous book to read. It is also a book every person in ministry should read. It will cut you to the heart and bring massive conviction if you read it with a humility and ask God to expose sins deeply hidden in your soul. It cuts, but it also provides biblical remedies for healing. I would love to put this book in the hand of every seminarian who walks on my campus."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Pastoral ministry is a dangerous calling, and this is a dangerous book. It will not leave you unchanged. Pastors need pastors, and by God’s grace, every page of this book will minister to your heart, your marriage, your family, and the people you serve—in ways you never thought you needed it. This book digs down into the inner recesses of our hearts to reveal our greatest idols and point to our greatest needs. It will make you joyfully uncomfortable and, by God’s grace, will bring you to your knees in tears of thankfulness only to help lift your weary head to fix your renewed gaze on Christ. This book is like a mirror that redirects our hearts’ reflection from ourselves to Christ. If this book were a sermon, it would be the most weighty and refreshing sermon you’ve ever needed to hear. My sincere hope is that this book would be translated into multiple languages, become required reading in seminaries, and be ¬distributed to Christians everywhere who know they’re called to serve God and others with the gifts the Holy Spirit has equipped them.”
Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk magazine

“Our wives, children, and the members we serve will have a new husband, father, and pastor by Friday if we follow Tripp’s example and give a humble and honest reading of this book—one with our inner Pharisee and scribe turned off. We will see the need to save our selves from a very dark and destructive force working against pastors: undiagnosed pastoral self-righteousness. With much wisdom and conviction, Tripp’s Dangerous Calling preaches the gospel of grace to the men who are preaching the gospel Sunday after Sunday to everyone but themselves.”
Eric C. Redmond, Bible Professor in Residence, New Canaan Baptist Church

“Few would regard a pastor’s role as a dangerous calling, but few people are as qualified and insightful as Paul Tripp to penetrate the snares and potential pitfalls associated with pastoral ministry. Fewer still would prescribe such gospel based and local church rooted remedies. This excellent volume should be read, re-read & applied.”
Terry Virgo , founder, Newfrontiers

About the Author

Paul David Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, professor of pastoral life and care at Redeemer Seminary, and the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care, under the auspices of the Association of Biblical Counselors. He is the author of a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Whiter Than Snow, A Shelter in the Time of Storm, Dangerous Calling, Sex and Money, and New Morning Mercies. He has been married for many years to Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources visit

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (October 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433535823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433535826
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Paul Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries (, a nonprofit organization, whose mission statement is "Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life." This mission leads Paul to weekly speaking engagements around the world. In addition to being a gifted communicator and sought after conference speaker with Paul Tripp Ministries, Paul is the Executive Director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas, and has taught at respected institutions worldwide. As an author, Paul has written many books on Christian Living that are read and distributed internationally. He has been married for many years to Luella and they have four grown children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thousands and millions of books are written every year, and every year I regularly read over one hundred books but very few of those books published and even fewer of those that I read are diagnostic books that punch you in the gut (in a good way to bring conviction of sin) by pointing out the weaknesses in pastoral culture and church life in order to help pastors see clearly their blind spots and point them to growth in the grace of God. Thankfully Dr. Paul Tripp a seasoned Pastor and counselor knows this which is why he wrote Dangerous Calling Confronting The Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry.

One of the more important trends I see happening in Christian publishing is an emphasize on Gospel centered growth in the grace of God. Added to this emphasis is a recent resurgence in books being published that emphasizes how the Pastor should be growing in the grace of God. Often such books on spiritual formation are written for the lay person so it encourages me when I see publishers like Christian Focus (who recently published Pastoring the Pastor) and now Crossway publishing Dangerous Calling addressing this issue in a way that doesn't burden Pastors but confronts them with the Truth of God's Word in order to help them see themselves as they are desperate needy sinners in need of Jesus and His grace.

There's an epidemic happening in pastoral ministry. In seminary future pastors are given a lot of information about theology, doctrine, church history and more to help equip them to preach, teach and minister to God's people. Sadly this emphasis on information focuses only on the head (knowing right doctrine is vital, so don't hear me arguing against that, my point is larger than this). My point is quite simply that Pastors are first Christians.
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61 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Luke-carl. on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I know this is an immensely popular book that God has used and I do not want to be contrapuntal, but honestly I was underwhelmed; here is what I thought of the work, positive and negative, honestly and plainly so you can decide for yourself.

The work is clearly written, the author is very honest and clearly a humble man--I really respect that. This is clear because he shares multiple humbling stories about himself, mimicking Paul who preferred to boast about his weaknesses. The subject matter is pertinent because the three main sections of the work are: Examining [critique of] Pastoral Culture; Forgetting Who God Is; Forgetting Who You Are. Also, it is as one other reviewer said "gut-wrenching" in that there are specific sins brought to light and examined (such as being controlling p. 160). Impressively, while deeply challenging, the work is neither negative nor angry, something difficult to accomplish. The work really does make you think about whether or not you have anger residing in your heart and whether or not you are consistent with what you preach, it is very convicting.

This work really is not for everyone. It is a sampling of Dr. Tripp's experiences with pastors who have lost their way in some regard and have, essentially, shipwrecked their faith as Paul would say. If you have not--if you have a relatively pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith (1 Tim. 1:5) like Timothy did, then this work will be more of a warning with some smaller, specific parts of the work moving you to repentance.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I want to thank Crossway Publishing and especially Angie Chetham for sending me an advance copy of Dr. Tripp's new book. This book has just been released.

This new book by Dr. Tripp is one that every Pastor should put in his library and one that they should make a point of reviewing (re-reading) at least every 18 months or so. The book is an encouragement to Pastors about how serious the calling to Pastoral ministry is. It is also a reminder that if we are not careful we will fall into some very bad habits and wrong thinking that will bring harm to the Kingdom and disrepute to the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This book is also one that every Elder Board should take a look at. It will be helpful to remind them of the dangers of the Pastoral Calling and Ministry and what they can do as the church board to hold their Pastor's accountable as well as bring encouragement into their Pastor's lives.

The main concept that struck me most from this work was the idea that, "We do not teach well the word of God or serve the church well unless we are awestruck by the Power & Nature of our Lord and Savior." This was a central theme that was well developed, especially in Part two of the book. Most Pastors enter the Pastorate because at some point in time in their life they were "awestruck" by the power and majesty of the Lord. But as they continue to serve they often times find that the "awe" of the Lord starts to diminish. In place of that "Awe of God" they start to have an "awe of themselves!"

The book is divided into three sections.
· Section one examines the "Ministry Culture" that Pastors fine themselves in.
· Section two examines the "Danger of losing your Awe, i.e. forgetting who God is.
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