Item description for Mother Kirk: Essays and Forays in Practical Ecclesiology by Douglas J. Wilson & Peter J. Leithart...
Overview Mother Kirk can be read with profit by all Christians, but at its heart this book is an instruction manual for pastors and elders, and it breathes the kind of wisdom that emerges only from long pastoral experience experienced through diligent study of Scripture. Mother Kirk is written by a pastor who knows that pastoral work demands courage, determination, gentleness, vision, patience, self-restraint, insight, shrewdness, and, above all, faith working through love. It is written by a pastor who sees that pastoral ministry is man's work. Today, many avoid pastoral vocation because they think it beneath them. Mother Kirk will deter for exactly the opposite reason.
Publishers Description Wilson presents a very practical and pastoral guide to many of the countless issues that arise in conservative Christian churches. The essays span subjects ranging from the nature of legalism and church authority to worship music, debt, youth ministry, and pastoral character. From the book: Modern evangelicals have gained money, power, and influence, and it has been like giving whiskey to a two-year-old. The need of the hour is theological, not political. The arena is the pulpit and the table, not the legislative chamber. Before we are equipped to proclaim His lordship to the inhabitants of all the earth, we must live as though we believed it in the Church.
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Studio: Canon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.86" Width: 5.96" Height: 0.72" Weight: 1.03 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2001
Publisher Canon Press
ISBN 1885767722 ISBN13 9781885767721
Availability 0 units.
More About Douglas J. Wilson & Peter J. Leithart
Douglas J. Wilson holds an M.A. in philosophy and is pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, board member of Logos School, and editor of "Credenda/Agenda" magazine. He is the author of several books on classical Christian education, including "Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning", "Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Education" (editor), "The Paideia of God and Other Essays on Education", and "The Case for Classical Christian Education". He and his wife Nancy have three children and loads of grandchildren.
Douglas J. Wilson currently resides in Moscow, in the state of Idaho.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mother Kirk: Essays and Forays in Practical Ecclesiology?
A Reformational Manifesto Jun 20, 2008
Douglas Wilson is becoming more and more well known by evangelicals world-wise as a man of deep faith and deep wisdom. His books on atheism in response to atheists Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins are highly praised.
This book is on the church, but it is much more than that. It is nothing less than a manifesto on "How to be Church for the World." He is not afraid to speak truth, even hard truth. As he says in the book, "when Christians call for smooth words, easy words, the result is hard people. When we submit to hard words, we become the tender-hearted of God ... Marriages dissolve, heresies proliferate, parents abandon children, churches split, children heap contempt on their parents ... bitterness, rancor, envy, and malice abound - and all because the people will not abide that loathsome jackhammer, 'Thou shalt not.'" (p. 77).
The book is full of practical advice on things to do with your ministry - for instance, how to start a literature ministry. Wilson's approach to church has led a tenth of people in his town to worship with his church. They got so many people that they had to start another church just to fit everyone who wanted to "do church" they way they do. Our Lord says to judge men by their fruits, and the fruits of Wilson's covenant community in Idaho is certainly indicative of his approach - which is simply to teach and live out the whole covenant gospel, in family, church, and in community. And unlike many of the megachurches, Wilson's approach is not an unchallenging no-nevermind Christianity. The qualifications for being a pastor or elder or decon in the church are stiff, and Wilson lays them out brilliantly. The book also includes a "Questions for Elders and Their Wives" based on the biblical criteria. They're tough, but no more than God's standards for those leading the church.
He covers translation issues (and his analysis is so clear that it alone is nearly worth the price of the book), preaching, the sacraments, the sabbath, the liturgical principles (order of worship), worship music (this is the weakest section of the book), church structure and heirarchy, the character of the minister, and the life of the church, as well as taking a Scriptural approach to issues like abortion, women ministers, youth ministry, the church's place in politics (both local as well as national), marriage licenses, evangelism, and the place of apologetics.
I was surprised by the claims of some of the reviewers here. One claims that Wilson merely proof-texts, but a flip through the book shows that he comments and elucidates on a lot of passages, and cites many more, often including context as well. Some of this is unavoidable since the book is a manifesto covering the bird's eye of a large number of topics. Many references allow the reader to read up in interested areas. And speaking of references, one review also claims that Wilson merely cites himself. I'm not sure why this common practice is such a problem for that reviewer, but in any case a quick thumb through the notes reveals that Wilson only cites himself 9 times (twice for the same book, once simply acknowledging that a subsection appeared elsewhere, bringing the actual total down to 6 times.
Another reviewer noted that they were repulsed by some of the things Wilson said, especially by a quote on abortion. This quote as they give it in the review is thus, "[W]e must take up arms to defend God's covenant children (Neh 4:14). But we may not use violence until they come after authorities or to defend the lives of Molech worshipers and their children. This is far more secular than biblical."
This is not what the book says. This gives the impression that Wilson encourages violent revolution. Here is the actual quote: "[W]e must take up arms to defend God's covenant children (Neh 4:14). But we may not use violence until they come after our children. We ought not take up arms to overthrow the established authorities or to defend the lives of Molech worshipers and their children. This is far more secular than biblical." (245). The rest of the quoted material appears in the book, but only the hard words are quoted. Context makes it clear that "God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23), and neither should we. But if they persist in loving death after hearing the truth over the course of decades, then ... let them kill themselves." (245).
Secondly, Wilson grounds his position in original sin, writing "whenever a descendant of Adam dies, he is receiving nothing less than he deserves. In Adam we all die. ... The administration of this death, however, is in the hands of the sovereign God alone . . . We bear the image of God, and whenever anyone is slain outside of the due process of law, the land is defiled in blood," (244). Perhaps we should listen to God rather than to hold Him to standards higher than He commands. Perhaps we should listen to what God says when He judges rebellious cultures and nations in history rather than complain that God's position is too unpleasant for covenant-breakers.
For a breath of fresh air, air that is unafraid to call sin what it is and that God judges it in history, air that says precisely what God says without flinching or embarrassment, pick up this book.
I can't believe I wasted $20 for this disappointing book. Feb 26, 2008
As I sat reading this, I read many statements made by Wilson, and nearly every time, my husband said "He didn't really say that, did he?" Wilson said many bizarre things in this book.
Probably one of the most offensive stances was his commentary on the pro-life movement (Translation: The Reformed should pray that the children of the heathen die as God's enemies and with a "more power to ya" attitude. This is social darwinism at its finest.) GAG!:
Chapter X: "The Life of the Church"
Moving Beyond Pro-Life (sub-title in Chapter X)
Pgs 245 - 246
In the hard providence of God, He sometimes allows His enemies to destroy themselves. When the pagan nations outside Israel sent their children into the fires of Molech, Israel wasn't called to blockade the fire and rescue the babies. And when Israelite kings followed Molech, the people were not commanded to revolt. Israelites were to make sure they didn't kill their own children (Lev 20), but God-haters were left to destroy themselves (Is 57:13; Jer 5:19; 6:19, 21)...
Let them kill themselves, for "God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting" (Rom 1:28), even "murder" (Rom 1:29). This is the wrath of God...
[W]e must take up arms to defend God's covenant children (Neh 4:14). But we may not use violence until they come after authorities or to defend the lives of Molech worshipers and their children. This is far more secular than biblical.
We must remember the antithesis. Scripture always remembers that deep chasm between those seeking to honor God and those who hate him. But this has not been a part of contemporary pro-life rhetoric.
The unbelievers are destroying themselves in a frenzy of child-murder and fruitless sodomy. Let them go. These are hard words. But Christians must learn to say them. Paul taught us that the children of God-haters are "foul" or "unclean" (I Cor 7:14). We must come to the day when the Christian can truly rebuke those who are "without natural affection" and say - "The ancient psalmist blessed the one who would take little ones of those who hate God and dash them on the rock (Ps 137:9). We see by your pro-abortion position that you clearly agree with this kind of treatment. And we in the Church, in a way you cannot truly comprehend, are now prepared to say amen."
Doug Wilson effectively encourages believers to respect the Biblical role of the church Aug 10, 2005
Like the first two readers who reviewed Mother Kirk, I give this book a 5 star rating. Unlike the anonymous reviewer who gave the book only a one star rating after reading just the first few chapters, I believe Mother Kirk provides solid theological arguments built with compelling logic on a foundation of Scripture. In fact, Doug Wilson stands apart from many mainstream evangelical authors because Mr. Wilson bases his arguments on the classic orthodox reasoning of the saints who authored the Westminster Confession and other time-tested creeds and catechisms. Mr. Wilson has drawn on the robust reasoning of great theological minds to address contemporary problems undermining the witness of the church. This book should greatly encourage any reader who knows Scripture, reflects on the book's arguments, and seeks to help Christ's church provide a faithful and loving witness in the modern world. (Would critics of Mother Kirk please recommend better books? Is there a book with a more rigorously reasoned summary of how the church can address its biggest challenges by applying time-tested ecclesiastic doctrines?)
Couldn't Pick it Up Aug 8, 2003
Ok I didn't finish the book, I made it through the first few chapters and scanned the rest, it is possible something in here made up for what I waded through but for what its worth. This is a collection of Wilson's idiosyncratic opinions. He presents his own ideas rather than solid theological arguments, proof texts instead of sound exegesis and uses colorful rhetoric rather than logical debate. The footnotes I read pointed to other books published by the author rather than backing up his statements. You may agree with everything Wilson says, for me I found him untrustworthy and outside the mainstream witness of the Reformed and Evangelical faith.
Excellent read! Dec 13, 2001
One of Wilson's best. Covers many aspects of theology of the church to starting a literature ministry