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We are not professionals

Martin Downes interviews Derek Thomas

How should a minister keep his heart, mind, and will from theological error?

We are all capable of goofy ideas and sloppy exegetical insights. I try to make it a rule (and often tell my students) that I don’t teach or preach ideas that have no basis in creedal/confessional formulation and have not passed the test of time... Of equal importance are things like: maintaining a close and daily watch on my own heart (1 Tim 4:16); don’t allow my calling to become a mere profession (to cite John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals); read and read and read oneself into a warm relationship with Christ by a balanced mixture of biographical and theological literature (I have found few ‘devotional’ books of any help, to be honest); keep the hymnbook close by; read and engage in an exercise of self-examination, something on justification on a regular basis ( Lloyd-Jones on Romans 3:21 – 4:25 has been my regular way of doing it); maintain a love-affair with Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; a pastor to the pastor and the importance of friends with whom we can be straightforwardly ‘in your face.’


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