Monday, August 13, 2007

The pastoral beat-down

Last week I began reading The Cross of Christ. This book has been recommended by many. I have heard several pastors recommend this book as one of the top books in their library. I have had the book for several years and have never cracked it open. I began reading this book during one of my first "Q days" (Stott called his one day a month quiet day a "Q day"). I read 120 pages in one sitting. Stott has the ability to grab your theological mind just in time to slap you with the pastoral beat-down of application. For instance, after spending a few pages discussing details about the Roman soldiers and Pilate's role in Christ's last days Stott says,

It is easy to condemn Pilate and overlook our own equally devious behaviour. Anxious to avoid the pain of a whole-hearted commitment to Christ, we too search for convenient subterfuges. We either leave the decision to somebody else, or opt for a half-hearted compromise, or seek to honour Jesus for the wrong reason (e.g. as teacher instead of as Lord), or even make a public affirmation of loyalty while at the same time denying him in our hearts.

So far this book has been a great devotional read - one in which I commend to you if you like an occasional pastoral beat-down.


rick said...

yes, this is on my required christian reading list ...

Bryan C. McWhite said...

I'm pretty sure I'm going to teach through this book with the Men's group in the fall or spring, and maybe even turn the chapters into sermons for Fusion for the Spring.