Friday 17 August 2018

Dayton Hartman on Lies Pastors Believe

Dayton Hartman, Lies Pastors Believe: 7 Ways to Elevate Yourself, Subvert the Gospel, and Undermine the Church (Belingham: Lexham Press, 2017).

I found this a tad ‘preachy’ in places, but enjoyed it overall. It’s helpful and challenging, with some practical tips throughout. The subtitles of the chapters give the gist of the ‘lies’:

1. The Visionary – ‘Jesus has called me to lead a movement’

2. The Iron Chef – ‘No one has ever fed them like me’

3. The Achiever – ‘Jesus loves me, this I earn’

4. The Called – ‘I am called to be a pastor’

5. The Holy Man – ‘My perceived holiness is more important than my pursuit of holiness’

6. The Anti-Family Man – ‘I must sacrifice my home life for my ministry life’

7. The Castaway – ‘I’m the only one on this island’

An article by the author was recently posted on the 9Marks website, which captures the burden of chapter 4 – ‘The Church Needs Fewer Men Who Feel “Called” to Ministry’ – in which he says:

‘In his first letter to the young pastor Timothy, the apostle Paul explains how a church ought to identify future elders and pastors: “If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task” (1 Tim 3:1). Paul doesn’t say “if someone is called”; he says if they “aspire.” I fear we have taken Old Testament language about the calling of prophets and superimposed it on the office of elder. Instead, we must reclaim the biblical language of “aspiring.”’

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