Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: Dangerous Calling

Title:  Dangerous Calling:  Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry

Author:  Paul David Tripp

Publisher:  Crossway Books

First Copyright:  2012

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Pastoral Ministry

Price:  $22.99

ISBN:  978-1-4335-3582-6

The purpose of this book is to serve as a diagnostic tool. The author states that he wrote this book, "to help you take an honest look at yourself in the heart-and life-exposing mirror of the Word of God - to see things that are wrong and need correcting and to help you place yourself once again under the healing and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ." The author continues to declare his purpose by stating, "this book is written to confront the issue of the often unhealthy shape of pastoral culture and to put on the table the temptations that are either unique to or intensified by pastoral ministry. This is a book of warning that calls you to humble self-reflection and change."

Theme:  The unique challenges of pastoral ministry

Thesis:  The unique challenges of pastoral ministry produces a culture and environment that actively undermines the well-being and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.

To develop his thesis the author utilizes argumentation. Tripp uses the technique of persuasion to establish the truth of a statement and to convince his readers of its veracity. Tripp's use of argumentation is to persuade the reader to believe his thesis and to take positive steps to correct his diagnosis. Tripp desires to convince his readers of the dangers of pastoral ministry for their benefit and the ultimate benefit of the body of Christ.

I found this book to be interesting. It will definitely hold the attention of the reader. It is an easy read.It is an important book and finds its usefulness in calling attention to the dangers involved in pastoral ministry. 

I believe the main arguments of the author of true. It seems, whether he intended to or not, he depicts his problem as the problem of all pastors. However his arguments that many pastors suffer from "disconnect" between their personal and professional life are true. He also builds a case that many times pastors preach texts that have no impact on them at all.

This book raises a number of issues. It suggests the probability that many pastors are "professionals" with little or no impact on themselves. It raises the issue that many pastors are allowed to isolate themselves from both the body of Christ at large and from those individuals within the body that could help them.

This book warns against those dangers. It call pastors to truly allow both the Spirit of God and the Word of God to shine His diagnostic and convicting light on their heart. 

Tripp writes from the perspective of being the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Forth Worth, Texas, a former pastor, and the author of over a dozen books on Christian living.

There are no footnotes or end notes in this book. There is a short, one page general index at the end of the book. Scripture is used sparingly throughout this book and there is a small one page scripture index at the rear also.

In summary, I felt that this book was described in such a way that one would think it was the greatest book ever written, second only to the bible. It seems most of the first fourteen chapters are used to sound loud arresting alarms and the last chapter given to five brief but excellent suggestions for implementation. I think it is a needed book and provides very beneficial information. 

No comments: