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Pastoral Theology: Theological Foundations for Who a Pastor is and What He Does Paperback – June 1, 2017
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—Kevin Ezell, President, North American Mission Board
“Pastoral Theology mines the deep wells of the sacred text, and presents a profoundly principled vision and practicum for ministry. It is also a treasure trove of ‘pastoralia’—brimming with insights that will enrich and enable the life of every pastor. Pastors and church leaders, who embrace an evangelical Bible-centered faith, regardless of tradition, ought to include this book in their library of essentials.”
—R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, IL, and the John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA
“As a pastor for forty years, never have I seen a greater need for pastors to be grounded in a divine understanding of ministry than in an age when people are more concerned with the length of a sermon than its depth; the humor of a pastor rather than his holiness; and that church should be more about creative thinking than about communicating truth. Every pastor and everyone desiring to become one should read this tour de force which will move all ministers to be connected to a holy God and more committed to a holistic ministry, which are the only things that give all pastoral work ultimate meaning.”
—James Merritt, Senior Pastor, Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA
"The pastoral calling is inherently theological. Given the fact that the pastor is to be a teacher of the Word of God and the teacher of the gospel, it cannot be otherwise. The idea of the pastorate as a non-theological office is inconceivable. The loss of the pastor-theologian model of ministry has adversely affected countless churches across the world and has weakened Christianity as a whole. This book is sorely needed by the church right now. Akin and Pace remind us that the pastoral task is fundamentally and most comprehensively theological. This is the right book for the right time."
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I love pastors. I love the work and ministry of pastors. And I love the churches they serve. Danny Akin and Scott Pace have made an incredible contribution to helping us understand, from a thoroughly biblical perspective, who pastors are and what they have been called to do. This book is now an essential component of my library of pastoral resources. I commend it to church leaders around the world.”
—Thom S. Rainer, President and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources
“Every pastor I know—myself included—needs to develop stronger bonds between biblical truth and the day-by-day realities of serving the Lord’s church. As scholars with deep roots in local congregations, Akin and Pace present an approach to the pastoral calling that is saturated in biblical theology and targeted toward hands-on ministry. For those wrestling with whether God is calling them to ministry, beginning pastors in their first church assignment, or seasoned preachers who need reminding of the beauty and gravity of their vocation, Pastoral Theology offers biblical insight and discerning counsel.”
—Stephen N. Rummage, Senior Pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL
“About effective preaching John Stott said, ‘The essential secret is not mastering certain techniques but being mastered by certain convictions.’ The same is true for every aspect of the pastor’s work. If we’re going to be effective shepherds, it will be because our ministries are firmly rooted in certain convictions about who a pastor is and what he does. Danny Akin and Scott Pace know this to be true. In Pastoral Theology they give us the theological, doctrinal, and practical foundation on which to build pastoral ministries that are God-centered, gospel-driven, and people-focused. Fellow pastor, read books and attend conferences that will help you with the pragmatic aspects of your ministry. But make sure it’s all grounded in the theology that these two pastoral theologians champion in this book.”
—Jim Shaddix, W. A. Criswell Professor of Expository Preaching, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
About the Author
Daniel L. Akin is the Ed Young Sr. Chair of Expository Preaching, professor of preaching & theology, and president at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.
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If you’ve ever struggled through a book on systematic theology, and wondered ‘Why?”, you’ll appreciate this book. No, it doesn’t cover everything in great deal, because it’s intended to answer questions that pertain to pastors, it’s a guide to the road to being a successful pastor. What makes a Pastor a good pastor? Of course, that varies some depending on the personality of the individual but there are certain constants. New pastors struggle to find their identity, and often get bogged down in making friendships, figuring out who the power players (official or unofficial) are in the church, add probably have to deal with the politics that happen in any group as leaders fight for their particular ministry. All that can make it difficult to stay true to the theological basis of being a pastor.
The book is divided into 3 sections, each with a particular emphasis. Part 1 deals with the Trinitarian Foundation, part 2 focuses on doctrine, and the 3rd part address some practical issues.
As I started reading this book, it wasn’t long before I was thinking about a sermon series based on Part I. The 3 persons of God. The authors address theology, Christology and Pneumatology. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Yes, these chapters are geared towards pastors, with discussions of God's character, Christ as God's champion, and the Spirit as God's Companion. But at the same time, if the Trinity is important to an understanding of my role as pastor, the congregation should also be taught about the three persons. Most pastors talk about the Father and the Son, but, and I’m guilty, many pastors neglect the Spirit. The Spirit is often hard to understand—so He is often forgotten in the life of the church.
Part II addresses Doctrine, again with three C’s : God's Compassion, His Community and his Commission; so we are introduced to a basic study to the theology of man, of the church, and of mission. What is the pastor’s role in each of these areas? Yes, they are definitely all important, but sometimes the Pastor is called to take an active role and sometimes he is called to teach the church it’s role.
But it’s not all book learning. Part III addresses how to put some of these things into practice. How does the minister deal with God's congregation? What is important in the preparation to Communicate God's Word through preaching? What is God's covenant, and how does it apply to families? Especially the family of the Pastor? How do we make sure that our families aren’t being neglected because the congregation is needy, and the demands of the ministry are so great?
Everything in this book is grounded in scripture, and the appropriate passages are included in the text, so there is no reason to doubt what is being said. Have a doubt? Turn to your Bible and check the reference.
This should be required reading for Seminary students, and those called to the pastorate. Members of Pastoral Search Committees should read this book, and carefully question candidates based on some of the things put forth on these pages. Many thanks to the authors for doing such a thorough job of defining the role of Pastor in such an understandable and scripturally grounded way.
I received a copy of this book for review. B&H Academic provided the book in exchange for my review. I was not required to post a positive review.
Daniel Akin and R. Scott Pace's book Pastoral Theology is the book pastors need to find the theological and biblical foundation for their ministry. This book is built in three sections. Section one is the "Trinitarian foundation" of pastoral ministry espousing the doctrine that God is one yet existing in three (3), distinct persons. Topics covered in the first section are the holiness of God, qualifications of the pastor, Jesus' ministry and instruction, and the equipping of the pastor by the Spirit of God. Section two is "doctrinal formulation" in pastoral ministry. Doctrine is of utmost importance. For in our doctrine our practice is found. This section, then, considers the mission and work of the church. In every church mission, the pastor is involved. Practical facilitation concludes the book. Ministry in the church, preaching the Word of God, and to the family are a few examples discussed.
This book seeks to set forth a theological framework and foundation for all that the pastor does. Whether visiting congregants in need or preaching on Sunday mornings, the pastor must possess a biblical and theological lens in which to work. I am thankful to have one (hopefully of many!) books to recommend to friends and fellow pastors.
Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishers through the B&H Blogger Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
When I think of a pastoral theology text, I think of a book that discusses the work of being a pastor - how to care for people and how to lead a church. This book is not so much the “how”, but the theological (i.e. Biblical) foundations for the “how”. Too often we disconnect our theology from our behavior - Akin and Pace have attempted to bring these two aspects of our lives as pastors together in a readable and understandable monograph designed for the pastor or pastoral student. The book does cover some of the practical concerns (i.e. the “how”) of being a pastor, but this is not its focus. Rather the book is designed to allow the student (whether in school or out of school) to explore what scripture says about our role as pastors.
This book is a must read for pastors of all flavors. We may not agree with all that is said, but we do need to grapple with its contents. I would also like to see this book adopted as an ancillary text for the pastoral student - whether in college or seminary. Though aimed, perhaps, more toward the seminary student; the book will be of value all those seeking to serve the local church. Because of this, the book also belongs in the Christian college (particularly those offering a pastoral studies track) and seminary library.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.
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