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The Christian Ministry Paperback – March 9, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1147152497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1147152494
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,578,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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There will be much that will be highlighted, underlined and re-read.
Anil Jacob
Finally this kindle edition is lacking in quality; the table of contents only covers half the book and the last 20% of the text is inexplicably in bold font.
If you are a pastor or elder (or want to be), I highly recommend that you read it.
Brian G Hedges

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges is simply one of the most powerful books I've ever read. Virtually every page was helpful. Bridges' book is a theological and practical expose' on what it means to be a Christian pastor and preacher. It is significant that a book this old (1849) is still incredibly relevant. There are five parts to the book - let me give a quick run-down of each.

I. In part one, Bridges covers the origin, institution, dignity, use, necessity, trials, difficulties, comforts, encouragements, and qualifications of the Christian ministry, along with four steps of preparation for the ministry: habits of general study, special study of the Scriptures, habits of special prayer, and employment in the cure of souls.

II-III. Parts two and three deal with five general reasons and ten personal reasons why ministers are often ineffective. The general reasons include:

1. the withholding of divine influence

2. the enmity of the natural heart of man

3. the power of Satan

4. local hindrances

5. and the lack of a Divine call to ministry

The personal reasons (i.e. causes of ministerial inefficiency connected with our personal character) are:

1. want of entire devotedness of heart

2. conformity to the world

3. the fear of man

4. the want of Christian self-denial

5. the Spirit of covetousness

6. neglect of retirement (time alone with God)

7. the influence of spiritual pride

8. the absence or defect of personal religion

9. the defect of family relgion; and the want of connection of the Minister's family with his work

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By jarbitro on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Many books today are written critiquing the theological landscape of evangelicalism, and specifically the seeker-sensitive movement. These books almost universally contain calls for better preaching and better pastors. What is shocking is that most of them do not explain how to preach deeper sermons, nor do they seem aware that there is markedly more to shepherding than preaching. Many services are evaluated and rejected based on the kind of music (too loud) or the number of illustrations (too short). Authors who decry depth in evangelicalism seem ironically unaware of the depth of the pastoral office, and that it goes deeper than what is observed in a five minute snapshot.

The Christian Ministry (TCM), by Charles Bridges shows an understanding of the pastoral ministry that avoids the traps common to modern-day authors. He recognizes the importance of preaching- indeed he spends two-thirds of his book on it- but he likewise shows that "not all the work is done in the study and in the pulpit" (343). He rightly calls pastors to better preaching, but unlike many modern books, Bridges explains how and why.

TCM does not satisfy itself with a cursory look at its topics. It digs beneath the surface to show the exact reasons for failings in the ministry. Bridges shoots arrows at the pastor's heart when talking about laziness in ministry, and does not content himself with vague indictments. He gives specific examples of sin in pastors, examples that convict even the most stalwart to the quick. His section on pride in young ministers (71, 328) did not just call pastors not to be prideful; rather he gave sample conversations and thoughts that are sinful, and then showed what exactly it is about pastoral ministry that opens itself up to these charges.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By paulregent.blogspot on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't want to review the actual contents of Mr. Bridges' masterpiece; if you're considering purchasing this book, then surely sovereignty has prepared you and you know its worth. I rather want to give a heads up on the production. The amazing price should be a giveaway that the book is very no frills: generic front cover, completely blank back cover, and yes: this is one of those "scan copy" books (where an older version is scanned and then reprinted; complete with smudge marks on some of the page borders). I suspected as much when I saw the amazing price, and for me, the book was still totally worth the $9.99. This is 550 pages of Christian wisdom after all. The biggest disappointment is that the table of contents is cut off. Being that this is a lengthy book, the table of contents probably spanned out over 3 or 4 pages. Only the last page, covering the contents of page 394 to the end of the book, made it in. So you're left with a really big book and no way to reference it. This is a book that should be read cover to cover but also has the potential to just be a reference for specific issues when needed. Without a full table of contents, that will be difficult. Is it the end of the world? No, but it was worth sharing just so you're aware. And I still say it's worth the 10 bucks, but if you really need the table, consider a used copy of an earlier edition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory P. Hoadley on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges is a very helpful book on the pastorate. After discussing what being a pastor entails, however, a large portion of the book is, as the subtitle states, "an inquiry into the causes of its inefficiency." The author places special emphasis on the wiles of Satan--most especially "wanderings into worldliness." Other causes of ministry failure include the fear of man, want of self-denial, and most especially "neglect of retirement"; i.e., spending prolonged and serious time in prayer, especially for the members of the congregation. As Bridges states, prayer is "one half of our ministry, and it gives the other half all its power and success."

The next session is devoted to preaching, with special attention given to proclaiming both the Law and the gospel. While there is much to profit from here, I am concerned by one subsection, where Bridges seems to suggest that some pastors preach best not by their pens, but by "the excitement of their feelings." While he does attempt to nuance this opinion, it seems that Bridges comes dangerously close to downplaying the need for careful preparation of sermons. Granted, Bridges could have been referring to lifeless sermons that were being preached in the 19th Century Anglican Church; but this may be lost on the modern reader.

With this caution in mind, The Christian Ministry is a very useful book--most especially the section on the causes of an inefficient ministry. However, it is not recommended that this be the only book a prospective pastor ought to read on this subject. Even still, I do recommend that both pastors and seminary students read it, as there is much valuable information to be gleaned.
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