Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Life is constantly moving despite being at a pandemic standstill.  I’ve provided an update on some of our journey here.  Recently, I’ve completed the coursework for the PhD program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; only a comprehensive exam, prospectus, and dissertation remain.  While I’m grateful to have taken my last class, there is a sobriety in knowing the most treacherous part of this academic journey lay ahead.

As I prepare to sit for my comprehensive examination later this summer, I thought I would take the opportunity to pass along some of the quotes which have ministered to me these past few years.  Having been permitted the opportunity to read and engage with some of the brightest minds and scholars in the fields of pastoral studies and preaching, I feel a debt of gratitude and an obligation to steward these pearls of wisdom.  With that, expect several of these posts in the future with quotations of note as I continue my preparation.

May the Lord bless you and keep you during this season of Pandemic.  May He make His face to shine upon you.  May these quotes from the saints of bygone eras provoke your thoughts and affection for a wonderful God.


“The test of Leadership is what happens when you leave.”  – John Bisagno in Pastor’s Handbook

“The Church is the mirror that reflects the whole effulgence of the divine character.” – Charles Bridges in The Christian Ministry

“He stands best but who kneels most. He stands strongest who kneels weakest. He stands longest who kneels longest.”  – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“When the chariot of humanity gets stuck…nothing will lift it out except great preaching that goes straight to the mind and heart.  There is nothing in this case that will save the world but what was once called, ‘the foolishness of preaching’.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“Pastor, preach for a verdict and expect it.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors 

“To love the Word is to love God.  To receive the Word is to receive God.  To believe the Word is to believe God.  Spiritually, to know the Word is to know God.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors 

On good preaching: “The difference between a bore and a good conversationalist is that the bore has not discovered the distinction between what interests him and what interests his hearers.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

Take time for prayer and study and preparation.  If the message is of little cost to the preacher, it will be of little value to the congregation.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors 

“You cannot live on skim milk during the days of the week and preach cream on Sunday.” – R.G. Lee quoted by – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“A short pencil is better than a long memory.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“Christ did not come to develop programs to reach the masses, He came to develop men whom the masses would follow.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“The only investments I ever made which have paid constantly increasing dividends, is the money I have given to the Lord.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors 

“It does not take great men to do great things; it only takes consecrated men.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“The greatest, finest, noblest sermon any pastor ever delivers is that of his own example.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“Luther wrote in his commentary on Galatians, ‘Every minister of God’s Word should be sure of his calling, that before God and man, he may , with a bold conscience, glory therein, that he preach the Gospel as one that is sent, even as the ambassador of a king glorieth and vaunteth in this, that he cometh not as a private person, but as the king’s ambassador.’” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

“We go further on our knees than by any other way.” – W.A. Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors

 “Indeed, he is a poor and unskilled physician, who aims at healing others but is ignorant of his own ailment.” – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“Fear must moderate the desire of compassing authority, and when this is attained by one who did not seek it, let his way of life recommend it.” – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“For no one does more harm in the Church than he, who having the title or rank of holiness, acts evilly.” – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“Wherefore, the man gives testimony against himself that he is not desiring the office of a bishop, if he seeks the glory of that honour, but not the ministry of a good work.” – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“The pastor is the more easily delivered from temptation, as he is the more compassionately afflicted by the temptations of others.” – – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“The seed of the word does germinate promptly, when the kindness of a preacher waters it in the hearer’s heart.” – – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“the mind of the elect must maintain patience, lest, being stirred by the wind of impatience, it lose in addition all the good they have performed.” – – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“What unhappiness is that of people whose state deteriorates by the progress of their neighbor.”  – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

“Good should be loved for its own sake, not pursued under the compulsion of established penalties.” – Gregory the Great in Regula Pastoralis

 “If we lose the sense of wonder of our commission we shall be like common traders in a common market, babbling about common wares.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“The absence of the sense of vocation will eviscerate a man’s responsibility, and will tend to secularize his ministry from end to end.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“A man may be dealing with ‘gold thrice refined’ and yet he himself may be increasingly mingled with the dross of the world.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“We may be professors but not pilgrims.  Our studies may be workshops instead of ‘upper rooms’.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“The worldly spirit of compromise is just the sacrifice of the moral ideal to the popular standard, and the subjection of personal conviction to current opinion.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“We may be more concerned to have a swelling membership-roll than to have the names of our people ‘written in Heaven’.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“Yes, you will find that when your spirit is impaired, your Bible, and your lexicons, and your commentaries are only like so many spectacles behind which there are no eyes:  you have no sight!” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work 

“We are not going to enrich our action by the impoverishment of our thought.  A skimmed theology will not produce a more intimate philanthropy.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“Cases are not won by jaunty ‘sorties’ of flashing appeal, but by well-marshalled facts and disciplined arguments marching solidly together in invincible strength.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“Preaching that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.  If the study is a lounge the pulpit will be impertinence.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“There is nothing mightier than the utterance of spontaneous prayer when it is born in the depths of the soul.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work 

“Let the music be redeemed from being a human entertainment, and let it become a divine revelation.  Let it never be an end in itself but a means of grace, something to be forgotten in the dawning of something grander.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“Multitudes of ministers can fish with a net who are very reluctant to fish with a line.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“I believe that what the old world needs just now is not so much the multiplication of organization as the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work

“Brethren, your calling is very holy.  Your work is very difficult.  Your Savior is very mighty.  And the joy of the Lord will be your strength.” – J.H. Jowett in The Preacher: His Life and Work 

“If we have not the Spirit which Jesus promised, we cannot perform the commission which Jesus gave” – Charles Spurgeon in Lectures to My Students

 

 

 

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