Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Protecting the Flock: A Pastoral Perspective, Pt. 1
09/04/2009 - Jeff DownsHave you ever thought about writing a book? Have you ever read a book, and thought to yourself, ďthis is the book I wanted to writeĒ? Well, I am almost certain many readers of this blog have had that experience. Perhaps at that point, your dream was dashed to pieces. I trust that is not the case, and even if it was, you got over it quickly. On the other hand, as you began reading the book (that you wanted to write), there was a sense of joy, and even perhaps, a bit of relief.
You will not have sleepless nights. You will go through the trouble figuring out what to say, where to say it, how to say it. You will not be rejected by this or that publisher, only to find out that you need to go through Xulon. You will not have to deal with those nasty book reviewers on Amazon, and you will not have to deal with Issue, Etc., Christ the Center, Knowing the Truth, etc., etc. breathing down your neck for an interview (just joking).
Take a deep breath, and rejoice!
Well, this was (well, somewhat), my experience when I picked up the book I mentioned last month titled Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church, by Martin Downes (Christian Focus, 2009).
After mentioning the book, Pastor Martin asked if I would write a review; since Risking is the book I wanted to write, I gladly accepted, and Pastor Martin sent me a copy (thank you Pastor).
In my humble opinion, I believe this book would benefit the readers of this blog (and many others), so I would encourage you to pick up a copy. In the mean time, Lord willing, Iím going to walk through the book chapter-by-chapter, adding my two cents on the AOMin blog.
Now, why would I think Iím qualified to do this? Well, Iím not sure if I am qualified. On the other hand, I have been involved in Countercult ministry for a few years. At this point I am working my way through seminary and, Lord willing, will receive a call to shepherd Godís people.
Unfortunately, when I started out in countercult apologetics, Iím not so sure I cared about the people I spoke with (perhaps more on this later). The truth is I had one tract (James Walkerís ďI Bear You My TestimonyĒ) that provided me with a few verses on monotheism (mind you, I was a new believer). I then used these verses as weapons, after calling an 800 number to receive a free BoM (what ever happen to those commercials anyway).
Well, it has been a long journey, and the Lord has been very good. If God does grant me the awesome privilege of shepherding his people, I at least have some background in handling error.
On the other hand, I was asked to be a participant on this blog, and to this point, I havenít done much writing (those in seminary, with families, understand why).
So how should a pastor deal with false teaching in and outside the Church? I hope to address this in subsequent posts, using Risking as a springboard. Stay tuned.
Note: When I first looked at the table of contents, I noticed something missing. I thought certainly Dr. White should have been interviewed for this book. It is my understanding that Pastor Martin asked, but at the time Dr. White had too many things on this plate. It is unfortunate that Pastor Martin did not contact another Pros Apologian team member. :)