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The Stain That Stays: The Church's response to the sexual misconduct of its leaders Paperback – January 1, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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"This is a pastoral letter from a sinner to sinners, composed with gracious humility. Above all The Stain that Stays is biblical. John Armstrong has done his homework. It deserves a wide reading by pastors, denomination leaders, church elders, and all who love the church." ~ R. Kent Hughes (Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois)

"This book is a needed corrective to the growing trend to restore fallen ministers into pastoral leadership. Whether one agrees with all John Armstrong's conclusions, he makes a case that desperately needs to be heard." ~ Erwin Lutzer (Senior Pastor, Moody Church, Chicago, Illinois)

"Armstrong has considered the issue in Biblical, theological, and historical terms. He has left no stone unturned and yet he has thrown no stones at fallen brothers. The book reflects a properly pastoral tone and a broken heart." ~ R. Albert Mohler (President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)

'As the epidemic of moral failure among church leaders shows signs of worsening, the church must carefully re-examine some hard questions in the clear light of scripture. John Armstrong has done this, and here he offers a thoughtful, biblical response - surely the finest book to date on this difficult subject.' ~ John MacArthur (Pastor-Teacher, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California)

'The lack of serious self-criticism and sustained biblical analysis on this issue plagues the Christian house. This book by John Armstrong takes a sober look at this problem and endeavours to shake us into something radical - that is to engage the Bible obediently.' ~ Tom J. Nettles (Senior Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)

'Eschewing both legalism and apathy, Armstrong points a biblical way forward to protecting God's sheep and recovering fallen shepherds...he has provided us with an extremely valuable, wise and balanced discussion.' ~ Michael Horton (Professor of Systematic Theology & Apologetics, Westminster Seminary in California, Escondido, California)

About the Author

John H. Armstrong, president of Reformation & Revival Ministries since 1991, serves the church in a variety of ways - among them speaking at conferences, pastoral care, teaching resources, book, He was a pastor for twenty-one years, the last sixteen at Trinity Baptist Church, Wheaton. John and his wife, Anita and have two adult children and one grandchild. He lives in Carol Stream, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mentor (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857925831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857925838
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book is an extended answer to the question, "What now?" that invariably arises when a ministry leader falls into serious sexual sin. Armstrong systematically examines the kind of answers that are common in the modern ministry setting and critiques them in comparison to scripture. He then looks at this historical approaches to this question in the church fathers, the Reformers, and the American Puritans. He concludes with advice as to what he sees as the way forward. His thesis, carefully argued throughout the book, is basically expressed in the title: sexual sin permanently disables a minister for any public ministerial duties.

This is an excellent volume: humble, sober, earnest, cautious, but full of heartfelt conviction. Armstrong is operating outside of explicit scriptural command, and his understanding of that truth makes him generous toward those who work through the biblical data and come to different conclusions (most notably, Tim Lahaye's book), but that doesn't blunt the edge of his own arguments. He forcefully expresses the aberrance within the life of the church of the current indulgent attitude toward fallen leaders, and his historical and biblical analysis is convincing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is part of a library collection of books for church officers on Church Discipline at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, S.C.
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Format: Paperback
In classic postmodern form, the title of this book is contrary to its conclusion. While the author does skip across the top of much church historical writing and scriptural commentary, it is on a very superficial level. The book is big on anectodal "sensationalized stories" and short on deep, thoughtful, comprehensive exegesis of Scripture. Mr. Armstrong also tends to make a composite of quite disparate facts and circumstances, and then make generalized pronouncements to cover them all. By far the most serious defect underlying the message of this book is that Scripture is insufficient to address this issue, and man must develop his own ethical paradigm to answer the question posed. It is truly a celebration of relatavism. If you read the book, read it critically as the opinions of one fallen man. Our culture (and those within the invisible church of Jesus Christ are no exception) tends to place too much weight on the words of "experts." His "expertise" is no substitute for seeking the illumination of the Holy Spirit as you search the whole Counsel of God in the Bible, and seeking the counsel of godly men who are steeped in the Scriptures and the facts of a particular situation. I know where of I speak, since Mr. Armstrong's advice was sought by someone in a very painful situation presently existing in our church. Based on a biased, incomplete set of facts, Mr. Armstrong swiftly responded with his advice. The haughty and smug dependence on "his expertise" has exacerbated and compounded the pain, confusion and chaos in our midst. God is sovereign and He will protect the purity of His church - in this case - inspite of the very unhelpful intervention of Mr. Armstrong and his book The Stain That Stays.
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