Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Counsel for Young Pastors (and Many Others)

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim 2:2).

For those who are unaware, a minor bruh haha has erupted online over John MacArthur's comments regarding Darrin Patrick in a recent interview.

If you are unaware, be encouraged! Most of it owes to our now widespread failure to cease Tweeting, "friending," and even blogging (!), in order to actually read real things like books, actually do real things, like pray, and actually spend time with real things, like people. But that's another post... Some better remarks on this controversy were made by Travis Allen, a friend and former ministry leader at GCC, who is the director of GTY's internet-presence: Culturally Contextualized or Historically Connected?

In any case, MacArthur clarified the passing comment in the interview in another post at GTY, "Radical Individualism: A Good Trait for Young Pastors?". It is worth a read, but most pertinent and helpful are his concluding exhortations:
The issue is rather the danger of developing a unique theology and a radically individualistic philosophy of church leadership. When one’s “own theological beliefs” are self-styled and unique, those beliefs need to be questioned. Protecting the soundness of our theological convictions is a commitment that we all must make. It is increasingly clear that the vanguard of evangelical Christianity is intent upon actively promoting change at every level within the church, and young men in particular should not be encouraged to think radical individualism is a positive mindset for church leadership and ministry style.
Amen and amen! Men in ministry who emphasize the subjective aspiring to the pastoral office (1 Tim 3:1) above the objective affirmation of the character and gifting for the pastoral office by the local church (cf. 1 Tim 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9) are flat-out dangerous. They inevitably form communities around personalities and preferences rather than the Gospel (see previous post). Ideally, the pastoral charge is an unbroken chain of Gospel doctrines and duties passed-on from the Apostles themselves.


  1. DV = Darth Vader, Déjà Vu, Death Valley...???

  2. Abbreviated Latin for "Lord willing" or Deo Volente, a la Jas 4:15. Old Puritan shorthand, when people still mostly believed that their plans were actually contingent rather than ultimate.