Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Cross and Christian Ministry by D A Carson

Carson argues that the message of the cross must shape all our ministry. We forget it is the power of God and maybe think it “foolishness.” We turn to strategic planning instead.

This book is a wise exposition of the passages and contains many challenges for Christian leaders. Paul resolved to know nothing except Christ and him crucified. What would our ministries look like if Christ crucified was at the very center? Would musicians really be sneaking their way back up to the stage during the after sermon prayer if we valued Christ crucified more than smooth performance?

Other challenges include what it really means to be spiritual. Do leaders see it as their passion to bring people to consistent Christian living in light of the gospel of the crucified Christ? (Loc 1790/2270) Do we understand the serious nature of Christian leaders being entrusted with the gospel and that “all their service turns on making that gospel known and encouraging the people of God, by word, example, and discipline, to live it out”? (Loc 1492/2270) Do preachers remind us we are called to suffer or allow us to be comfortable in our lifestyle?

This book is a good wake up call to Christian leaders. Carson writes that “Christian leaders dare not overlook their responsibility to lead the people of God in living that is in conformity with the gospel.” (Loc 1790/2270) It is an awesome responsibility to have been entrusted with the secret things of God.

I recommend this book to Christian leaders who desire to see their ministry centered in the gospel. You will be reminded of the serious nature of your call. You will be challenged to evaluate your ministry in light of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians. Carson has provided questions for review and reflections so this book could be used for a church board study or in a small group.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Donald A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is the author or editor of more than fifty books. He is one of the founders of The Gospel Coalition and an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world.

Baker Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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