Top Quotes from "Dangerous Calling"

10 12 dangerous calling

This past week I read Paul Tripp's new book, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. In this book Tripp diagnoses the problems with modern pastoral cultures and with his usual gospel-centered eloquence, gets to the heart of pastors.  If you are a pastor you need to pick this book up and read it.  If you are a Christian, you need to pick this book up to know how to pray and encourage your pastor.  

As I was reading here were some of my favorite quotes from the book:

No one celebrates the presence and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ more than the person who has embraced his desperate and daily need of it. (23)

One of the rings that makes a sermon compelling is that the preacher is worshiping his way through his own sermon. (35)

Autonomous Christianity never works, because our spiritual life was designed by God to be a community project. (38)

The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation. (51)

The real struggle they (pastors) are having, one that is very hard for a pastor to admit, is with God.  What has caused ministry to become hard and burdensome is disappointment with and anger at God.  It's hard to represent someone you have come to doubt.  It's hard to encourage others to functionally trust someone you're not sure you trust.  It's hard to represent someone you have come to doubt.  It's hard to encourage others to functionally trust someone you're not sure you trust.  It is nearly impossible in ministry to give away what you yourself do not have. (74)

Monasteries were a failure because they neglected one very significant biblical truth: the biggest danger to every human being, even those in ministry, is located inside of him, not outside of him.  (108)

If your heart is in functional awe of the glory of God, then there will be no place in your heart for poorly prepared, badly delivered, functional pastoral mediocrity…. Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem.  Mediocrity is a heart problem.  We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe. (141)

Perhaps in ministry there is no more potent intoxicant than the praise of men, and there is no more dangerous form of drunkenness than to be drunk with your own glory. (167)

You simply cannot be a good ambassador of the grace of the King without recognizing your need for the King in your own life.  Public ministry is meant to be field and propelled by private devotion. (197)

Here is the bottom line: wherever you are in ministry, whatever your position is, not matter how many people look up to you, whatever influence your ministry has collected, and no matter how long and successful you ministry has been your ministry will never be about you because it is about him.  God will not abandon his kingdom for yours.  He will not offer up his throne to you. (215)


The Bible is not an Encyclopedia

Here is an excerpt from Paul Tripp's Book, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands.  It is a wonderful book that I commend to you.  Here is what he writes on how Christians often handle the Scripture.

Many Christians simply don't understand what the Bible is.  Many thing of it as a spiritual encyclopedia: God's complete catalog of human problems, couple with a complete list of divine answers.  If you turn to the right page, you can find answers for any struggle.  A more sophisticated variation views the Bible as a systematic theology textbook, an outline of essential topics you must master to think and live God's way.  In either case, we tend to offer each other isolated pieces of Scripture that seem to fit the need of the moment.  What we think of as ministering the Word is little more than a spiritual cut-and-paste system.

This Kind of ministry rarely leads to lasting change because it does not bring the power of the Word to the places where change is really needed.  In this kind of ministry, self is still at the center, personal need is the focus, and personal happiness remains the goal.  But a truly effective ministry of the Word must confront our self-focus and self-absorption at its roots, opening us up to the vastness of A God-defined, God-centered world.  Unless this happens, we will use the promise, principles, and commands of the Word to serve the thing we really love: ourselves.  This may be why many people read and hear God's Word regularly while their lives remain unchanged.  Only when the rain of the Word penetrates the roots of the problem does lasting change occur.