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Books, Things I've Read

Book Review: ‘Brothers, We Are Not Professionals’

In the introduction to his book, ‘Brothers, We Are Not Professionals‘, John Piper states his purpose in writing, he states: ‘The aim of this book is to spread a radical, pastoral passion for the supremacy and centrality of the crucified and risen God-Man, Jesus Christ, in every sphere of life and ministry and culture…The title of this book is meant to shake us loose from the pressure to fit in to the cultural expectations of professionalism…Oh for the radical, Bible-saturated, God-centered, Christ-exalting, self-sacrificing, mission-mobilizing, soul-saving, culture-confronting pastors!’

Piper covers just about everything in this book and so I thought it best to just quote you some of what I found to be highlights.  I hope you get the chance to peruse the list of quotes below and I pray they’ll edify and encourage you.

‘God’s most fundamental allegiance is to His own glory.  He is committed to being God before He is committed to being anything else. Do your people know these things?  Do they stake the answer to their prayers on God’s love for His own glory?  Do they make their case before His throne on the grounds that God does everything for His own name’s sake? …The foundation, the means, and the goal of God’s agape [love] for sinners is His prior, deeper, and ultimate love for His own glory.’

‘His [God’s] glory is the shining forth of His holiness.  His holiness is His intrinsic worth–an utterly unique excellence.  His glory is the manifest display of this worth in beauty.  His glory is His holiness on display…To show Himself holy is the way He is glorified.’

‘For most of us the voice of self-reliance is ten times louder than the bell that tolls for the hours of prayer…Both our flesh and our culture scream against spending an hour on our knees beside a desk piled with papers.  It is un-American to be so impractical as to devote oneself to prayer and meditation two hours a day.’

‘What is at stake in pastoral admonition and in preaching is not merely the church’s progress in sanctification but its perseverance in final salvation.’

‘If the glory of God is paramount in our preaching, then the aim of radical, life-offering obedience to Jesus is essential.  It make visible the value and beauty of all that God is for us in Christ…So we preach for radical obedience precisely out of a passion for the supremacy of God in our people and our world.’

‘Until God is our treasure, we will not grieve over our falling short of being satisfied in Him and begin living in a way that show that satisfaction.’

‘Humility does not build a life based on its perceived rights…Much of our anger and resentment in relationships comes from the expectation that we have a right to be treated well.  We must assume mistreatment, and not be indignant when we get it.  This is what humility would look like.’

‘Suffering is not an accidental result of obedience.  It is an ordained means of penetrating the peoples and the hearts of the lost.’

‘Nothing keeps God at the center of worship like the Biblical conviction that the essence of worship is deep, heartfelt satisfaction in Him and the conviction that the pursuit of that satisfaction is why we are together.’

‘Oh, how crucial it is that pastors love their wives.  It delights and encourages the church.  It models marriage for the other couples.  It upholds the honor of the office of elder.  It blesses the pastor’s children with a haven of love.  It displays the mystery of Christ’s love for the church.  It prevents our prayers from being hindered.  It eases the burdens of the ministry.  It protects the church from devastating scandal.  And it satisfies the soul as we find our joy in God by pursuing it in the joy of the beloved.’

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About Marshall Walter

Marshall Walter is the College Pastor at Grace Brethren Church in Simi Valley. Married to Beka, the two of them enjoying living life and sharing in ministry together.

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