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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Faithful Preacher

I have finished one of Thabiti Anyabwile's books, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. The book was a collection of sermons from three African-American preachers spanning the years of 1780 to 1937. Before the sermons of the specific pastor, Anyabwile gave a brief overview of their ministry and presented what lessons we can learn from the pastor.

The basic thesis of the book is the quote I posted earlier. We as future ministers, ministers, and lay-people serving in a local church should look to the faithful and fruitful ministers that have gone before us . We are constantly presented with a new, fresh way to do ministry. This new way is sure to catch people's eyes and revive excitement. But there is no guarantee that the new technique will be effective. And in Thabiti's word's, "But who really wants to approach shepherding the Lord's sheep by trial and error?" (p. 14) Should we play with men's souls as we constantly seek out new church techniques? Instead, we should learn from those faithful men that have gone before us and have demonstrated a sound and Biblical way to minster.

That is what Anyabwile sets out to do. This is not a "Here's a five step program to how to do church." Instead it a chance to read from ministers from years past and glean the wisdom of ministry they present in their sermons.

here are some quotes from each of the pastors in the book.

Lemuel Haynes -

The solemn account that the faithful minster expects to give on another day will direct him in the choice of his subjects; he will dwell upon those things that have a more direct relation to the eternal world. He will not entertain his audience with empty speculations or vain philosophy but with things that concern their everlasting welfare. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, will be the great topic and darling theme of his preaching. If he means to save souls, like a skillful physician he will endeavor to lead his patients into view of their maladies and then point them to a bleeding Savior as the only way of recovery. (p. 32)

Daniel A. Payne -

The end of all his studies and research into religion, science, and philosophy is to teach immortal souls and lead them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. He does not mistake sound sense, any more than he could mistake stones for bread, giving the people the former just because he has not the latter. He is more anxious to make God's people intelligent and wise than to excite their animal feelings and make them shout. He labors not to make them admire and praise himself but to make them angry with themselves, fall out with their sins, and fall in love with Christ. And this he does by all plainness of speech and fitness of simile, by arguments as strong as bars of iron, by illustrations as beautiful as the lily and the rose. (p. 100)

Francis J. Grimke -

The only thing that we need to be concerned about is to see that we carry out faithfully the instructions of the Lord; that we be true to the solemn trust committed to us; that we go on preaching the gospel; that we go teaching His word, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, in season and out of season, and give ourselves no concern about its future. Its future is assured. God is behind it. It cannot fail. (p. 181)