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Book Report, The Reformed Pastor

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Our libraries and bookstores and filled with books that contain 'wisdom'. Why 'wisdom' and not wisdom, simply because our contemporary authors have yet had to face the harshest critic of all. She would take the works of our present day authors and tear them to shreds if they didn't hold up to her standard. And her decisions are absolute. Who is she? She is time. I look at my shelves here in my office and I see many works that I consider to be precious and worthwhile. But how much of my opinion is based on my timeframe? The day and age within which I reside. Currently my shelves hold three books that have stood the test of time. Not simply how long they were on the New York Times bestsellers list, but time measured in centuries. Those precious works are The Holy Bible, The Character of a Christian Leader (originally titled The Six Wings of the Seraph) by St. Bonaventure written in the thirteenth century and lastly The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter written during the seventeenth century. Those books have stood the test of time, and are worthy of our time and effort to glean all we can from them.

Do I digress from the objective of this book report to spend time vocalizing this point? No, I don't believe so. I believe the essence of this work by Baxter is that it contains timeless wisdom that is just as true today as it was in the 1600's. If the church leadership of our age would take hold of the precepts and exhortations that Baxter offers I believe that our world would be changed. How many pastors do you know of who take time to sit with individual families to instruct them in what the bible teaches? I don't know any, but I know that it's a practice that would precipitate change in this world.

Baxter's 'voice' through-out this book can be a bit gritty. That is to say that he doesn't 'flower it up' or simply he comes across mean and angry sometimes using biting words and examples for example

"We were also confessing our own sins and so taking the shame to our own selves. It could be argued we should have translated it into Latin for our professional



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