Practical Aspects of Pastoral Theology, General Editor Christopher Cone

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This volume, authored by 17 different individuals, is exactly what it claims to be, a guide based on Scripture for the practical aspects of pastoral life and ministry.  Nineteen topics are addressed, from what a pastor is to priorities in the ministry to the role of the pastor’s wife to church discipline to missions to the dangers of pornography.  While the writing is a bit uneven and there exists some overlap, expected in multi-authored works, most chapters are quite helpful.  Pastors and church leaders will find themselves returning to specific chapters which speak to their need of the moment.

The authors all hold to a high view of Scripture which shape both their theology and practical application.  Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s chapter, “Israelology and the Pastoral Role,” offered the most controversial claims.  Not all would agree that, even today when presenting the gospel in a new area, it must first be given to the Jews (pp. 101-105), that Jesus will not return until the Jews ask Him to (p. 107), that church-age Jewish Christians could be part of the 144,000 (p. 111), or that his views on Messianic Jewish practices are correct.  But his ideas are well worth considering.

Overall, I believe this book has much to commend it.  Any pastor will find portions pertinent to his present ministry.

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