Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Crucifixion of Ministry: Surrendering Our Ambitions to the Service of Christ Paperback – October 27, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Containing only five chapters, this book is packed with a lot of truth, helpful ideas, and suggested practices. A book like this will help current seminarians and future miniters to avoid some of the pitfalls of ministry. Purves does a great job in going to the text in numerous places to get the reader to see the biblical truth instead of the author's ideas. (Terry Lange, SharperIron, (sharperiron.org), October 2, 2008)
Certainly worth recommending to pastors and others in full-time ministry. (Rodney Stent, The Lamplighter, May 2008)
All in all, the significance of the subject matter and its general readability make this book an important read for those wishing to locate their practical ministry on the horizon of the doctrinal tradition of the Church. (Phil Sumpter, Chrisendom, May 4, 2008 ay 4, 2008)
Purves challenges pastors to look deeply at their ministry and realize that it is not theirs but Gods. He encourages pastors to allow themselves to be used by God rather than attempt to do things for God. His simple argument is stated eloquently and most certainly bears repeating to an individualistic world. (Pulpit Helps, October 2007)
"Every pastor and Christian leader needs to read this book--about once a year. It is a much-needed wake-up call to remember what we all so often forget: it's Christ's ministry, not ours, and for his ministry to manifest itself through us, we must first die to ours. Written with clarity and passion, there is much here that is theologically rich, spiritually challenging and practically relevant. The North American church today desperately needs to heed the message of Andrew Purves's book." (Stephen A. Seamands, professor of Christian doctrine, Asbury Theological Seminary)
"Andrew Purves has peeked inside our ministerial closets. He has pulled aside the façade of our pastoral garb. He exposes the fear and exhaustion so many of us feel but none admit. Then he offers us pastors the real hope found in reconnecting to the true Source of all ministry. The church would be transformed if pastors dared to read, and practice, this book." (Gerrit Dawson, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge)
"I have been in Professor Purves's classes as he lectured on this theology of pastoral ministry. I watched our seminarians move from dismay to embracing it as a surprising new vision of ministry. It was like witnessing the crucifixion and resurrection, which is his point. I have been a pastor long enough to know that without this vision of what Jesus Christ is doing in human lives, no one will last long in the ministry." (M. Craig Barnes, pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church, and Meneilly Professor of Ministry, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
"This book is exactly what we in pastoral ministry have needed for a long time: 'strong medicine' to not only keep us from the burnout so many are facing in our time, but also, and primarily, to enable us to thrive in the service of Jesus Christ. Andrew Purves takes us into the heart of ministry, into the heart of the only ministry that actually 'works,' into the ministry of the risen Jesus, and teaches us how to participate in Jesus' vicarious humanity and, in union with him, to cooperate with Jesus' ongoing work in and for the world. As I read these pages, everything in me cries, 'Yes! This is the way to live and serve.'" (Darrell Johnson, associate professor of pastoral theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia)
About the Author
Andrew Purves (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books including Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry and The Resurrection of Ministry. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and has three grown children with his wife Catherine, who is minister of the Bellevue United Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for tips and techniques, this is not the book for you. However, there is nothing as practical as a good theory.
Purves presents a solid theology of ministry. The beginning point is a recognition that everything worthwhile that happens in ministry is done by the reigning King, Jesus Christ. Our clever programs and detailed plans have become the problem.
Purves writes, "All that we think we should do and can do and are doing in ministry must be put to death" (p. 13)
Once we have crucified our ministries, we can begin to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. This chiefly involves discerning what Jesus Christ is already up to.
Concerning preaching, Purves writes, "Faithful preaching is the fruit of deep theological apprehension of Jesus Christ in the context of this people at this time. You know Jesus Christ; you know this people. What is his Word to them today?" (p. 91).
The primary work of the pastor is "bearing witness to the joining of two stories, the parishioner's and God's. Who is Jesus Christ specifically for this person amid the particularities and exigencies of her current life experience?" (p. 128).
Purves writes from a Calvinistic perspective, but he does so without partisanship. As an Arminian I took offense to nothing he said and had little difficulty adapting his arguments to my slightly different theological framework.
And his writing is easy to read. He doesn't overwhelm the reader with complex theological terms and ideas. This is a deep book but also an accessible book.
One warning, however. If you are young and have all the answers or if you have a TV show and think that God is indebted to you for all the work you do for him, you probably won't find this book very helpful. One the other hand, if you've ever been frustrated in ministry or concerned that all your work has accomplished little of real value, you will find this book refreshing, encouraging and empowering.
Ministry is a theological act. This means that it has everything to do with God. Andrew writes: "What makes ministry theological is what makes it ministry: God acts." In ministry, God acts today as he has always acted-in, through, and as his personal incarnation, the Living Word, Jesus Christ. Thus, God acts-by the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit-through the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ, who is present to and for those whom make themselves available to him.
Andrew suggests that the first and central question to ask related to ministry is this: "Who is Jesus Christ and what is he up to?" The answer leads to the second vital question: "How do we get in on Jesus' ministry?" The truth is: people don't need us; they need Jesus. This means that in doing ministry, our grateful response and moral obligation is to bear witness to him.
Purves writes: "To participate in Christ's ministry means that I share in his life. Sharing in his life means that who he is and what he is up to defines the whole work of my ministry. Wherever Christ is and wherever we are joined to him, there truly is the intentional, disciplined and faithful ministry of the church. It is not our ministries that make Christ present; it is the present, living Christ who makes our ministries possible" (p 53).
If we live and minister with this kind of intent, then we will live as those who are truly crucified with Jesus Christ (cf., Gal 2:20). Amen.