Item description for The Crucifixion of Ministry: Surrendering Our Ambitions to the Service of Christ by Andrew Purves...
Overview Today, there is a crisis in pastoral ministry. Andrew Purves explores the true and essential nature of Christian ministry, rooting it in Christ's own example. He provides vision and direction for students and practicing ministers to reclaim the connection between Christ, themselves, and their ministries.
Publishers Description As a pastor, do you ever get the feeling that no matter what you try, nothing much seems to change? That is because the ministries themselves are not redemptive--they are not up to you. Only Jesus' ministry is redemptive. Jesus has to "show up." Theologian Andrew Purves explores at the deepest level the true and essential nature of Christian ministry. He says that the attempt to be an effective minister is a major problem. Ministers are "in the way." He radically claims that ministries need to be crucified. They need to be killed off so that Christ can make them live. Rooting church service in Christ's own continuing ministry, Purves provides a vision for students and practicing clergy to reclaim the vital connection between Christ and participation in his ministry today, even if it means letting Christ put to death the ministries to which pastors cling so closely. A radical appraisal for a critical malady affecting the life of the Christian church written in plain, down-to-earth language.
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Studio: IVP Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.32" Width: 5.55" Height: 0.44" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Oct 27, 2007
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830834397 ISBN13 9780830834396
Availability 0 units.
More About Andrew Purves
Purves is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Purves currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania. Andrew Purves was born in 1946.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Crucifixion of Ministry: Surrendering Our Ambitions to the Service of Christ?
In the World and yet, not of the World... Oct 26, 2009
We who live a Christian life within the world are faced with a constant challenge: that challenge being that we are to be in the world and not of the world. The struggle of ministry for many years has been that we appear to be very much similiar to the social services agencies of the world. I would state that many churches have this point of view. Hence, the demands made upon the pastors are very similiar to the demands made upon the social service structures of the world. According to Dr. Purvis, the outcome is predictable: burnout, dropout or worse.
Historically, this has never been the church's calling, for that would be to "be in the world and of the world at the same time".
So, we are called to be "in the world and yet, not of the world",and as a result we cannot have the same expectations that the social service agencies have in our working within the world. Pastors are not merely fulfilling a secular job description. Indeed, secular job expectation would be impossible within such a vocation. Instead, we would need to discern the mind of God. Pastors are to believe and live as if God is able to work and demonstrate changes within an individual Christian's life. The pastor cannot change a person's life.
Dr. Purves's book is written very much within that Christian stream of thought that says ministry is about a lifelong journey with the Christian faith, as it is not something that we can absorb through the culture. This changes the face of pastoral ministry as it is practiced by some. Instead, Christianity is counter-cultural while still examining the culture and using some of the tools provided, (panenthism)but always with an eye upon God and God's Will.
A Crucifying Read! Oct 15, 2009
Andrew Purves asks, "Is ministry something we do, or is ministry something Jesus does?" Well, the answer is yes and yes. However, while we might have a ministry, it is important to know and confess that our ministry is derivative. Being "derivative" means that it depends in every way upon the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. In other words, the ministry of Jesus displaces us from the throne of "my" ministry--with the awareness that it was never really mine in the first place.
Ministry is a theological act. This means that it has everything to do with God. Andrew writes: "What makes ministry theological is what makes it ministry: God acts." In ministry, God acts today as he has always acted-in, through, and as his personal incarnation, the Living Word, Jesus Christ. Thus, God acts-by the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit-through the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ, who is present to and for those whom make themselves available to him.
Andrew suggests that the first and central question to ask related to ministry is this: "Who is Jesus Christ and what is he up to?" The answer leads to the second vital question: "How do we get in on Jesus' ministry?" The truth is: people don't need us; they need Jesus. This means that in doing ministry, our grateful response and moral obligation is to bear witness to him.
Purves writes: "To participate in Christ's ministry means that I share in his life. Sharing in his life means that who he is and what he is up to defines the whole work of my ministry. Wherever Christ is and wherever we are joined to him, there truly is the intentional, disciplined and faithful ministry of the church. It is not our ministries that make Christ present; it is the present, living Christ who makes our ministries possible" (p 53).
If we live and minister with this kind of intent, then we will live as those who are truly crucified with Jesus Christ (cf., Gal 2:20). Amen.
Deep, brilliant, and all about Christ Jul 1, 2008
In this little but very profound book, Dr Purves has given all pastors a way to approach ministry that will bring life and freedom and joy rather than stress, burden, and weariness. It's so easy to think that we have to do it all. Indeed, that is our great sin as pastors. We forget that we are not the Savior. I imagine that this book would be particularly good for "successful" ministers who have bought into the idea that their brilliance and hard work has brought about their success. Ministry, particularly in a big church setting, has a tendency to inflate egos. Ingesting a little Purves will provide a good remedy. I recommend this book to all pastors and anyone else engaged in ministry. Read it several times. Read it once a year. Send it to all your friends.
Essential Reading for Pastors (and parishioners) Feb 1, 2008
This is one of the best books I've ever read on ministry.
If you're looking for tips and techniques, this is not the book for you. However, there is nothing as practical as a good theory.
Purves presents a solid theology of ministry. The beginning point is a recognition that everything worthwhile that happens in ministry is done by the reigning King, Jesus Christ. Our clever programs and detailed plans have become the problem.
Purves writes, "All that we think we should do and can do and are doing in ministry must be put to death" (p. 13)
Once we have crucified our ministries, we can begin to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. This chiefly involves discerning what Jesus Christ is already up to.
Concerning preaching, Purves writes, "Faithful preaching is the fruit of deep theological apprehension of Jesus Christ in the context of this people at this time. You know Jesus Christ; you know this people. What is his Word to them today?" (p. 91).
The primary work of the pastor is "bearing witness to the joining of two stories, the parishioner's and God's. Who is Jesus Christ specifically for this person amid the particularities and exigencies of her current life experience?" (p. 128).
Purves writes from a Calvinistic perspective, but he does so without partisanship. As an Arminian I took offense to nothing he said and had little difficulty adapting his arguments to my slightly different theological framework.
And his writing is easy to read. He doesn't overwhelm the reader with complex theological terms and ideas. This is a deep book but also an accessible book.
One warning, however. If you are young and have all the answers or if you have a TV show and think that God is indebted to you for all the work you do for him, you probably won't find this book very helpful. One the other hand, if you've ever been frustrated in ministry or concerned that all your work has accomplished little of real value, you will find this book refreshing, encouraging and empowering.
Great Book Jan 28, 2008
The Crucifixion of Ministry is an excellent book by Dr. Purves. The theme intertwined throughout the book centers on the fact that Jesus shares His ministry with Christians (Hebrews 3:1), for ministry is not what we do, but what Jesus is doing. There is so much of an emphasis today on the abilities, skills, gifts, etc . . . of pastors to make things happen--bodies, buildings, bucks. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and Bonhoeffer would be shocked and saddened today if they beheld the dire lack of Christ-centered training (and practice) among pastors. This book served as a great reminder for me that God's people participate in the life/ministry of Christ, and share in His Communion with His Father. Here is the summary of the book: 1. The ministry of Jesus is the ministry of God. That is what most of our creedal and confessional language concerning Jesus is about. 2. Jesus' ministry is not merely a past influence that reaches into the present. It is at once historical, present and future. 3. Wherever Christ is, there is the church. By sharing in the life of Jesus, we thereby share in God's continuing ministry. This is the doctrine of our union with Christ, which is the principal work of the Holy Spirit. IT IS CHRIST, NOT WE, WHO DOES THE MINISTRY. God used this godly man (Dr. Purves) in my life and ministry in a powerful way through this timely book. Fellow pastors (my blessed friends) throw out your shallow books that tell you how to do ministry which trivialize the current ministry of Christ, absorb the Biblical content of this book which I read twice, and realize ministry isn't what you do, but what Christ did, IS DOING, and will do. This book freed me from ministering with an all too common "I-better-do-something-or-else-my-church-will-die" attitude to a deep seated faith in the glorious person of Jesus Christ, our acting Savior! The Crucifixion of Ministry is rooted in the Scriptures and in church history, particulary, Athanasius, John Calvin, John Campbell, and James Torrance--four men whose writings are very Christ-centered! I truly believe that every pastor should absorb and assimilate this rather small, powerful book into their heart. We pastors (I am convinced) carry burdens that Jesus alone is meant to carry. Digest this book! It will help you develop an accurate and Biblical focus of ministry.