Monday, November 26, 2007

New Books!

I got some new books lately that I am excited to read. As I wrote in my last post my wife Debbie and I are co-pastoring a church in the Grand Canyon National Park. So far things have been going well. However, I admit I kinda went over academic in my masters program at aGts and did not take a "how to be a pastor" class per se. So I went ahead and ordered some books I thought would help me in this area.

The first is Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry by Thomas C. Oden from Drew University. This book is written specifically for those studying for ordained ministry and or those in ministry needing some review of pastoral ministry. He breaks it down into five different sections: Becoming a Minister; The Pastoral Office; What Clergy Do and Why; Pastoral Counsel; and Crisis Ministry. So, it looks to give a fairly broad scope of Pastoral Theology and I am looking forward to getting into it. It is a bit dated (1983) but I had trouble finding anything else remotely related to it that had the same breadth of coverage.

The next book is: The Competent Pastor: Skills and Self Knowledge for Serving Well by Ronald D. Sisk out of NABS in South Dakota. This book takes a slightly different approach from Oden. Instead of giving a broad scope of what pastoral ministry is about, Sisk focuses on specific aspects of what it takes to gain competency in ministry. He wants the reader to gain some insight into how a competent minister functions. One key issue in the book is understanding how one's family of origin and one's role in the family effects one's role as a pastor. They can deal with anything from how one handles conflict, how one deals with the dynamics of family life, whether tends to take a back seat or disengages when trouble arises or if one tends to overfunction and try to do too much. Even family history and family health can effect one's ministry. Other issues Sisk helps the reader gain competency are in self motivation, time management, stress management, communication skills, spiritual development, and professional development. I think it is going to be an interesting and challenging read.

The next pastoral book is a biblical theology of pastoral traditions called: Shepherds after My own Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible by Timothy S. Laniak out of GCTS. This books is apart of the series called New Studies in Biblical Theology. I accidentally discovered this book at the Phoenix Seminary Library one day and after thumbing through it decided I wanted to get it. It basically traces the shepherding motif through the scriptures starting with Moses and David as the main proto-types. He then goes to Isaiah and moves on through the NT to show Jesus as the ultimate type and model as the ideal shepherd/pastor and the dynamics involved. He ends in the book of Revelation with Jesus as the slain lamb and ruling Shepherd. I am thinking it is going to be quite a good read.

One last book is called Cry of the Soul: How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III. This book tackles the subject of emotions and how they give us a glimpse of the true nature of God (and ourselves). These guys start with the Psalms and explore what the Bible says about our darker emotions and how in an attempt to control them - far from an attempt to be Christlike - are really a form of rebellion against God or an attempt to flee from him. I am thinking this book will help the reader understand the role of emotions in the spiritual life and for Pastors in particular how to deal with them so they do not disrupt one's ministry or one's ability to be effective in ministry.

One last book! I like study of the Gospels so I couldn't resist getting Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. This book pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin of supposed scholarly claims of the Gospels being compilations and collections of "anonymous communities" and not actual eyewitness accounts of Jesus of Nazareth (contra Luke 1). I have only read a few pages so far and can already hear the anonymous communities advocates scampering across the floor and ducking for cover as their paradigm comes crashing down. It should be a fun and interesting read!

Well, I better get reading!



At 11:27 PM, Blogger mike aubrey said...

I'm not much for pastoral theology, I'll admit, but I've really enjoyed the New Studies in Biblical Theology volumes. Dr. Burke's Adopted into God's Family is great. And Kostenberger and O'Brien have a volume on missions.

I've seen Shepherds after My own Heart and have been interested, partially for myself and also maybe as a gift for my pops, whose a pastor.

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Brian said...

thanks mike for the comment - I too like the Biblical Theology Volumes - I have the one by Koestenberger and O'Brien and is it is really good - it is worth having just for the chapters on John and Paul. Another one I'd like to have is the one by Mark Siefred called Christ our Righteousness. This one on Shepherding is pretty good so far, I have read a couple chapters and it has good stuff on Second Exodus Theology, which I like! I think I need to get brave and try to write up a review or at least highlight various parts of it.

As to pastoral theology - it is new for me but I figure if God had put us in this position then I need to be sure I can pretend to know what I am doing - reading helps along those lines! ;)


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