Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Biography for the Rest of Us

C. J. Mahaney:
Normally, biographies are written about unusually gifted men. Edwards. Whitefield. Spurgeon. Calvin.

Biographers remind us of exceptional character, extraordinary gifting, and impressive intellects. And I'm grateful to God for these men and the effect of their example on my life.

But at times, reading these biographies is discouraging, rather than edifying, as we are reminded afresh about the difference between the great leaders in church history and our sorry selves.

And though we benefit from the example of these men, most of us cannot relate to them because we’re aware of our average intelligence, average gifting, and our preaching is—not surprisingly—average as well. (Raise your hand if you’re working with that package?)

As I read their biographies I know I should be inspired, but at times I find myself increasingly discouraged (and let me be clear—this is because of my pride). Rather than filled with faith to charge into my day and prepare a sermon, care for God’s people, and preach, I feel a bit hopeless.

And while reading these biographies I also hope my church members never read these books because they could only compare me to this individual and that would prove unfavorable!
What’s a pastor to do? Here is one recommendation.

For pastors like myself with average gifts, Dr. Don Carson has given us a unique biography of the life and ministry of an ordinary pastor—his dad.
Read the whole post. Carson's book, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, is available for pre-order, and will be due out in the next week or two.