A word from a few others…

Sorry about so few posts lately. It’s been crazy busy with ministry and life. But for the moment, (and I know it’s a bit indulgent so please excuse me) a few words from others about my book release:

One of my most cherished teachers of theology, Dr Sasse, insisted that we would learn more from those who differed from us than those who agreed with us. Only if we first exercised a hermeneutic of appreciation which first understood them in their own terms with what was right and true in their thinking could we properly criticize them. Such generous large-mindedness enlarges the mind and sharpens its perception of reality.

In his book on the use and abuse of the so-called great commission by the advocates of church growth Lucas Woodford takes us with him on a personal journey that is marked by that kind of critical magnanimity. In it he tells the story of two challenges to him as a young Lutheran pastor, the pastoral challenge from a congregation that has been polarized by attempts to implement the tenets of church growth as well as the theological challenge to evaluate it and its intellectual foundations fairly to gain what he could from it.

Beginning with Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles Creed in his Small Catechism, Lucas examines the role of confession in the church, the use of Matthew 28:16-20 as the essential mandate for the church in its mission by the proponents of church growth and their concern for cultural relevance, the impact of modernism and post-modernism on them and their critical disciples in the emerging church movement, and the value of the great confession of faith in the orthodox tradition with its emphasis on liturgy, orthopraxy, and the whole Biblical story as counter-cultural meta-narrative. So after taking his readers on a journey through many new places with many new ideas, he brings them back home but with new eyes that now see what is so valuable in what was largely familiar and yet unappreciated by them.

This study, then, is of great value, and most helpful, to any faithful pastor or educated Christian that longs to seize the wonderful opportunity for the proclamation of the gospel practically and winsomely to this confused and confusing generation.

John Kleinig, Professor and Author

………………………………………………

Pastor Woodford takes on one of the most timely questions and theological conflicts of our age: the hidden confusion of an ecclesiology reinterpreted through the lens of pragmatism, rather than the lens of Sola Scriptura.

 Rev. Jonathan Fisk of Worldvieweverlasting.com

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4 responses to “A word from a few others…

  1. If I may be so bold, I believe C.S. Lewis would have heartily endorsed you book too! This excerpt from his book, Letters to Malcolm, supports my conclusion:

    I think our business as laymen is to take what we are given and make the best of it. And I think we should find this a great deal easier if what we were given was always and everywhere the same.

    To judge from their practice, very few Anglican clergymen take this view. It looks as if they believed people can be lured to go to church by incessant brightenings, lightenings, lengthenings, abridgements, simplifications and complications of the service. And it is probably true that a new, keen vicar will usually be able to form within his parish a minority who are in favour of his innovations. The majority, I believe, never are. Those who remain—many give up churchgoing altogether—merely endure.

  2. austen wilson

    What is the title of the book? I was unable to find it.

  3. Austen Wilson

    Oops! I should have just looked at the previous blog posting before asking the question!

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