Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pastoral yowch

In case my pastor-type readers missed it, Justin Taylor posted a time-sensitive deal (May only, I believe) for getting Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor as an audio book.

This is one of those always-meant-to-but-never-have books. Well, I'm "reading" it now, and my! is it yowchy! I anticipate coming back to it again and again, for more badly-needed bludgeoning.

Baxter is so on-target, yet gracious, and yet unsparing. (The book is well-read, too.) I just heard one of my favorite excerpts:
Take heed, therefore, brethren, for the enemy hath a special eye upon you. You shall have his most subtle insinuations, and incessant solicitations, and violent assaults. As wise and learned as you are, take heed to yourselves, lest he outwit you. The devil is a greater scholar than you, and a nimbler disputant; he can transform himself into an angel of light to deceive: he will get within you, and trip up your heels before you are aware: he will play the juggler with you undiscerned, and cheat you of your faith or innocency, and you shall not know that you have lost it; nay, he will make you believe it is multiplied or increased, when it is lost. You shall see neither hook nor line, much less the subtle angler himself, while he is offering you his bait. And his bait shall be so fitted to your temper and disposition, that he will be sure to find advantages within you, and make your own principles and inclinations betray you; and whenever he ruineth you, he will make you the instruments of ruin to others.
So I give you the modern version of tolle lege (take up, read): download, listen.

6 comments:

Connie said...

Thanks for the tip! Baxter's Reformed Pastor is one of my husband's favorites--the audio book would make a GREAT Father's Day gift for him to use during his daily commute!

Chris Anderson said...

Thanks for the tip, Dan. Downloading now.

LeeC said...

Awesome book, ow,ow, ow!And I'm not even a pastor.

Thanks for the tip Dan!

I believe our elders are going through it right now, it should be required for every elder IMHO.

Sewing said...

Wow, that excerpt is good stuff. Who said—someone said—that the Adversary knows every verse of Scripture by heart (to quote or use at whim in achieving his aims)?

mikepettengill said...

GEAT book! The Elders in our church are studying it right now. If you want to feel this big (he said holding his thumb and index finger one inch apart) read this book…then pick up Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secrets. Two books that will help show you how woeful your Christian walk is. (WARNING: Reading these two books in succession may cause nausea, bloating, heartache, weeping, gnashing of teeth, weakness in the knees, and a desire to make up for lost time.)

Read the following Baxter gut punches…if you dare:

“You that draw back from painful, displeasing, suffering duties, and put off men’s souls with ineffectual formalities, do you think this is honorable treatment of Christ’s spouse?”

“What! Sirs, shall we despise the blood of Christ? Shall we think it was shed for them who are not worthy of our utmost care? You may see here, it is not a little fault that negligent pastors are guilty of. As much as in them lieth, the blood of Christ would be shed in vain. They would lose him those souls which he hath so dearly purchased.”

“Did I come down from heaven to earth, “to seek and to save that which was lost;” and wilt thou not go to the next door, or street, or village, to seek them?”

Oh by the way…these three quotes are all on the same page. There are 250+ other pages just like it.

Andrew and Carolyn said...

I read Baxter last year. Intensely painful, tremendously helpful. How many modern books on pastoralia devote their opening section to asking their readers to make sure that they themselves are in Christ?

Kind of goes against the warm, fuzzy stuff that certain churches/publishers pump out ad nauseum. A lot of the modern books have the smooth voiced sound of a therapist, Baxter carries the tone of a regimental seargent major - and I know which of those gets you fitter quicker!

Thanks for the link to the download. With this on my iPod I can now weep, wonder about my soul and walk all at once.

Who says men can't multitask???