Popularity: A Pastor’s Fiery Trial

  Near the beginning of his 1830 publication on the pastoral ministry (The Christian Ministry), Charles Bridges discussed the trials and difficulties of the ministry.  In this section he wrote that for pastors, “the greatest difficulties derive their origin and power from ourselves.”  This whole section is outstanding, and very much worth reading.  One part… Continue reading Popularity: A Pastor’s Fiery Trial

Do Not Praise Yourself (Or: Nobody Likes A Bragger)

I don’t remember if it was a P.E. coach I had in high school or my mom or a good friend, but someone once told me “Nobody likes a bragger.”  There is quite a bit of truth in that phrase!  Scripture puts it this way: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A… Continue reading Do Not Praise Yourself (Or: Nobody Likes A Bragger)

We Need Discipline Like We Need Daily Bread

Because God is our heavenly Father and we (Christians) are his adopted sons and daughters, he disciplines us when we sin and disobey (Prov. 3:11, Heb. 12:5-6).  However, in Christ we understand this discipline to be full of love, not hate; we view the rod as evidence of God’s care, not his curse.  God disciplines… Continue reading We Need Discipline Like We Need Daily Bread

We Preach Christ Crucified

  As a pastor I’ve appreciated Charles Bridges’ The Christian Ministry.  One great aspect of this old book is that Bridges is clear: a Christian pastor needs to constantly and clearly proclaim the gospel.  Jesus suffering, dying, and being raised again to save sinners must be the heartbeat of our preaching.  Here’s how he states… Continue reading We Preach Christ Crucified

Preaching and Distinguishing Law and Gospel

In one section of this most excellent pastoral resource, The Christian Ministry, Charles Bridges (d. 1869) explains how important it is for pastors to rightly distinguish between – and preach – the law and the gospel.  I have to say up front that this is one of the most helpful discussions I’ve read when it… Continue reading Preaching and Distinguishing Law and Gospel