Not just for pastors

Some thoughts on my book of the year so far...

Huw Williams | 17:10, Wednesday 08 May 2013 | Turin, Italy

So here's a book I've been thoroughly enjoying recently…

Dangerous Calling

Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp. (I think it may have a different cover in the UK, but I like this one… )

We may be only in May, but I think this book is already a contender for my "book of the year" award (- admittedly a dubious accolade…) Its subtitle "The unique challenges of pastoral ministry" might suggest that this is not a priority read if you are not engaged in pastoral ministry yourself, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Buy a copy for any pastor you know, but make sure you read it before you give it to them.

If you are already familiar with Tripp's writing, you will already know of his wonderful ability to get to the heart of issues and problems, which is usually the erm, heart. Tripp's ability to dig beneath the surface of our outward actions and to expose the idols and selfishness which our behaviour often tries to conceal, doesn't always make for comfortable reading, but neither should it.

Certainly he does address pastoral workers in his appealing prose, but he also speaks directly to those who genuinely want to care for their pastoral workers, and understand how they can best love them, support them, understand their particular "pressure points" and of course, pray for them. The book is divided in to three sections; part 1 examines the prevailing culture of pastoral ministry, based on Tripp's extensive experience of "pastoring pastors". Part 2 focuses on the temptation of the pastor to lose the sense of wonder at the person of God, while part 3 places its focus on the temptation of the pastors to lose the sense of reality of who they are – sinners saved by and in daily need of grace.

This is a very significant book, and I can't recommend it too highly. Buy a copy for any pastor you know, but make sure you read it before you give it to them.

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