This month has been a month of reading. Besides the book review or two, I have had plenty to read for classes and sermon preparation. But, one thing is for sure: I will have more reading next month! Actually, I am excited for two books in particular that I get to read! I will be writing reviews for both of them in the near future.

Portraits of a Pastor

The first book is from Moody Publishers, again. I really enjoy reviewing their books because I receive a hardcopy of the book to review! This book is very relevant to me but could be very informative to you as well. It was released in September 2017, so it is fresh off the press and I am sure it will be a work from which many a minister will benefit.  Portraits of a Pastor: The 9 Essential Roles of a Church Leader, has the advantage of being authored by not one, not two, not just three authors, but eight authors plus an editor! So, this work is very diverse, but I think that will make this book such a wonderful resource.

Here is the back cover information and some additional info from Amazon:

If you’re a pastor, you know the tension of balancing (or trying to) the many roles and expectations that come with leading a church. But are you able to distinguish which roles are truly essential? And can you measure how you’re fulfilling them?

Portraits of a Pastor features contributions from evangelical leaders like Jason Allen, Jared Wilson, Daniel Akin, and Owen Strachan on the essential roles and aspects of pastoral ministry. Together the book answers three important questions:

  • What does it mean for the pastor to hold all nine roles?
  • Why should the pastor fulfill these roles?
  • How can the pastor most faithfully fulfill them? 

A pastor must be a preacher, shepherd, missionary, evangelist, church historian, theologian, man of God, leader of his household, and leader of others—a tall order! After reading Portraits of a Pastor, you’ll:

  • Have a clearer vision of the roles you should fulfill in the life of your congregation
  • Be inspired to fulfill your calling by growing in new areas of leadership
  • Know the unbiblical visions of pastoral leadership that may distract you from your core calling

It’s true: much is demanded of pastors. But it’s also true that too much is demanded of most pastors. Know what God has called you to, how to fulfill that calling, and what may be distracting you from it. 


The second book I am currently reading to review is one of great interest to many. Certainly, this book holds my attention from its title, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth: Images of Christ’s Threefold Office in The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is my favorite trilogy of all time and I am sure it will be my favorite forever. I am picking my way through the books as well since I have failed to completely read them all by now (I read The Hobbit in two sittings, so don’t worry!). IVP Academic is the publisher of this book set to hit the shelves November 14th, 2017. I am already 1/3 of the way through this book and find it fascinating to read!

Here is the information to this book from Amazon:

How can we grasp the significance of what Jesus Christ did for us? Might literature help us as we seek further understanding of the Christian faith? Since at least the fourth century, with church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the threefold office of Christ as prophet, priest, and king has served as one way for Christians to comprehend the gospel narrative of his life, death, and resurrection. Another story that has generated much reflection is J. R. R. Tolkien s classic, The Lord of the Rings. It is well known that Tolkien disliked allegory. Yet he acknowledged that his work is imbued with Christian symbolism and meaning. Based on the inaugural Hansen Lectureship series delivered at the Marion E. Wade Center by Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth mines the riches of Tolkien s theological imagination. In the characters of Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, Ryken hears echoes of the one who is the true prophet, priest, and king. Moreover, he considers what that threefold office means for his service as a college president as well as the calling of all Christians. Guided by both Tolkien and Ryken, things of first importance come alive in a tale of imaginary prophets, priests, and kings.

So, there you have it! Something for you to look forward too. I know the “pastoral” book might not be of great interest to most of you, but it actually is beneficial to know what your pastor should be doing as well as what he should not be doing! The second book is one I venture to guess holds most peoples attention. I have only met a handful of people who do not like Tolkien’s LOTR. My wife used to be one such person until we did a LOTR marathon this past summer and now she loves it!

You’ll just have to wait a week or two for me to finish the books and have a healthy review for each of them!

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