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Entrusted with the Gospel [Paperback]

D A Carson (Editor)
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Book Description

19 Nov 2010

What a responsibility to be entrusted with the gospel! With the focus on Paul's second letter to Timothy, John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell and Ligon Duncan model faithful preaching rooted in Scripture.

These pastors focus on the themes of:

unashamed courage in gospel preaching

rightly dividing the word of truth

pitfalls and parodies of ministry

finishing well

A great resource for pastors, church leaders and others in ministry, this volume will help readers better to live the vision of Paul's letter to Timothy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ivp; First edition (19 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844744892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844744893
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 835,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'This book will help all Christians to be faithful to the task we have been entrusted with. Do your family, friends and fellow church members a favour - read this book and apply it.' --Adrian Warnock, author of 'Raised with Christ'

About the Author

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. A former pastor and itinerant minister, Carson is an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world, and has authored or edited more than fifty books.

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"Piper, Ryken, Driscoll, Copeland, Chapell, and Duncan are very different people, but they are all proven champions of the unchanging gospel of Jesus. This book will help all Christians study to be faithful to the task we have been entrusted with to spread that same message. Paul's advice to his young apprentice Timothy is ably explained in these pages. Do your family, friends, and fellow church members a favor--read this book and apply it."
--Adrian Warnock, author, Raised With Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Gospel-Centered book 8 Nov 2010
By Dave J. Jenkins - Published on
Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2nd Timothy is a collection of six sermons from the six plenary sessions of the 2009 Gospel Coalition Conference. The plenary speakers at the conference were John Piper, Philip Ryken, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell and J. Ligon Duncan. These sermons are exemplary in that they are thoroughly grounded in the Bible are Christ-Centered in their focus and Gospel-focused in their application. These sermons will confront you, rebuke you, exhort you, and cause you to worship and praise the God of all grace.

Having attended churches that were program driven rather than Gospel-Driven- words cannot even express how much I appreciate the Gospel Coalition and their work. This book is just a reflection of their overall work. Through blogs, conferences, audio/video and more, the Gospel Coalition seeks to be thoroughly grounded in, by and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words the Gospel is not just a slogan for the Gospel Coalition- it is something that this ministry and movement seeks to think about, breathe, live under and proclaim to the entire world.
This book will challenge you in several ways. First it will challenge you to grow in personal holiness. These messages are delivered by Pastors and Professors who love Jesus and the Church. These are men who have committed their lives to the task of eating, breathing, studying, living and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ contained in the Word of God. Whether you agree with every point they make is irrelevant but you should at least consider their arguments and counsel as they are experienced men whom God is using for the sake of His glory.

Dr. Piper in chapter one challenges us to feed the white hot flame of the Gospel by growing in personal holiness and service unto the Lord. In chapter two Dr. Ryken challenges us to follow the pattern of sound words that Paul gave to Timothy. In chapter three Pastor Mark Driscoll challenges us on the marks of positive ministry and how to deal with difficult people. In chapter four K. Edward Copeland stresses how to deal with the pitfalls and parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry. In chapter five Dr. Bryan Chapell exhorts us from the Word on "Preaching the Word". In chapter six Dr. Ligon Duncan teaches us to finish well.
These sermons as I said earlier will challenge you. The Gospel is necessary for your salvation but it is equally necessary for your sanctification and growth in discipleship. If you are seeking to grow in what it means to live under the Gospel, I encourage you to read this book. Whether you are a Pastor, in a full-time, bi-vocational or just a layman or lay woman- this book will challenge you to see that the Gospel is for all of life. This book will rightly orient your life and ministry around the Gospel by stressing the importance of personal growth in holiness as you serve in ministry.

Picking up this book will challenge you and at times make you uncomfortable. It will challenge your apathy and pride. It will challenge the way you do ministry. In the end though the Christian life isn't about living a comfortable life of easy it is about following the rugged road to the Cross. I recommend you pick up Entrusted for the Gospel that you may grow in personal holiness unto the Lord even as you minister for His glory in whatever capacity He has you in.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of The Gospel. 4 April 2011
By ZachB777 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, although somewhat short, is solid biblical exposition from many solid pastors. I recommend this book for every Christian and especially every Christian going into a leadership role of ministry.

In Christ
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Insights into 2 Timothy 1 April 2011
By Jonathan - Published on
Of all the books that I have the privilege of reviewing, I really enjoy reading and reviewing books about the Bible (commentaries, collections of sermons, Biblical stories, etc.). These type of books help to open up the Scriptures in new ways. D.A. Carson did not disappoint in his book entitled "Entrusted with the Gospel". Carson is the editor of a collection of sermons from 2 Timothy. This is a collection of 6 strong sermons that cover all of 2 Timothy. These pastoral expositions offer not only helpful insights into each particular passage but you can also see the theme throughout the collection of sermons. I recommend this book to anyone studying 2 Timothy or who are thinking about studying 2 Timothy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all the Gospel lovers out there 6 Dec 2010
By Richard Hogaboam - Published on
Entrusted with the Gospel, edited by D.A. Carson
Copyright 2010 by The Gospel Coalition
Published by Crossway

This book a series of expositions that were given at the 2009 Gospel Coalition National Conference. If you don't know much about The Gospel Coalition, please check them out. It is a great network that our church is a part of. It represents a broad sector of Evangelicalism that is committed to Gospel-centeredness, Biblical exposition, and faithful pastoral ministry.
The first chapter features John Piper, with the message "Feed the Flame of God's Gift: Unashamed Courage in the Gospel" (2 Tim. 1:1-12). In Piper-esque fashion, the exposition is passionate and offers much exhortation. Just as Paul called upon Timothy to "fan the flame" in the discharge of his ministry, so also must contemporary Gospel ministers tend to their calling. Piper says,
Timothy, keep feeding the white-hot flame of God's gift--of unashamed courage to speak openly of Christ and to suffer for the gospel. Feed it, Timothy. Do that. Fan that flame. Feed that fire. And every time you preach the Word of grace to yourself and strengthen your heart with blood-bought promises of life and help, look deep into eternity to see why you are doing this.
Piper also reminds us of the incredible suffering that Paul encountered and reminds us that we must fan the flame in the face of fact, it's the only way to survive through suffering.
The second chapter, "The Pattern of Sound Words (1 Tim. 1:13-2:13)", was my favorite. Phillip Ryken draws attention to the trait of faithfulness, which is necessary to persevere in ministry,
Ministry takes courage--sometimes unusual courage. It takes courage to expose idolatry or to cross ethnic and social lines with the gospel. It takes courage to stand up and say that Jesus is the only way, not just for Christians, but also for Muslims and atheists. It takes courage to go to the hard places in the world and share the gospel. But this is what faithfulness requires.

Ryken also contemplates the mentoring ministry of Paul to Timothy and how Timothy is called to train other faithful men as well. We have an example of apostolic succession, not through the ordaining of infallible mouthpieces, but rather through the deposit of the Gospel. We also must contemplate how our ministry is fruitful in raising up faithful men who subsequently train others as well. He proceeds to draw upon the faithful illustrations given by Paul: Soldier, Athlete, and Farmer. These illustrations are not coincidental, but share a unifying theme of focus and discipline. This is what ministers are called to. Summarizing his treatment of these illustrations, Ryken shares the following,
All three of the occupations that Paul mentions require faithful hard work and dedicated, undistracted labor. All of them entail hardship and suffering. But they also hold the promise of a reward. "Beyond warfare is victory, beyond the athlete's effort is the prize, and beyond agricultural labor is the crop."10So work faithfully for the gospel reward, which God will bring in his own good time.

God's reward for faithful ministry is beautifully illustrated by the story of Luke Short, converted at the tender age of 103. Mr. Short was sitting under a hedge in Virginia when he happened to remember a sermon he had once heard preached by the famous Puritan John Flavel. As he recalled the sermon, he asked God to forgive his sins right then and there, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Short lived for three more years, and when he died, the following words were inscribed on his tombstone, "Here lies a babe in grace, aged three years, who died according to nature, aged 106."

Here is the truly remarkable part of the story. The sermon that old Mr. Short remembered had been preached eighty-five years earlier back in England! Nearly a century passed between Flavel's sermon and Short's conversion, between the sowing and the reaping. Sooner or later, by the grace of God, faithful work always has its reward.

Lastly, Ryken draws our attention to the faithfulness of our Savior and Father. It is because of His faithfulness that we show any semblance of faithfulness in our ministry. It is His faithfulness that upholds His own name in spite of our unfaithfulness,
It is not just our persons that are accepted by God because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, but also our services, that is, all the things we do for God in ministry. We are called to be faithful in the sacred trust of gospel ministry. But the acceptance of our ministry does not depend on our faithfulness to God, but on his faithfulness to his Word. Admittedly, our ministry isn't what it could be. At times we may wonder whether anything we have ever done for Jesus is worth anything at all. Or perhaps, after failing, we doubt whether God can still use us. It is at such times, most of all, that we need to remember Jesus Christ and know that we are loved and accepted by God. Even our own ministry is accepted on the basis of his perfect life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection.

Even if we are not really sure if we could ever be any kind of success in ministry, we should still try for Jesus, and when we fail for Jesus, we should believe this promise, "If we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself."

The third chapter, "The Marks of Positive Ministry (2 Tim. 2:14-26)", offers surprisingly mature insights from the relatively young Mark Driscoll. Driscoll defines three basic categories for people: positives, negatives, and neutrals. Essentially people fall in one of these groups. Just as Timothy calls Paul to deal with the "negatives", so also must pastors deal with this laborious task of calling out the negatives in one's fellowship. Driscoll offers this fairly comprehensive list of what these negatives are:
Negatives are people who do ungospel-things in ungospel-ways for ungospel-reasons. They are distrusting, unsupportive, discouraging, and contentious. They burn bridges, are wounded by bitterness from past hurts, and are often the source of criticism and conflict. Negatives bring organizational sickness, division, and trouble because they are more interested in proudly winning their cause than in the triumph of the gospel and the good of the whole church. Negatives tend to draw other negatives toward themselves as factions; they also prey on neutrals in order to increase their own power and control. In the Bible, negatives are often referred to as wolves.

There are about as many kinds of negatives as there are types of sins. Some notable negatives include these:
1. Success-jealousy negatives snipe and criticize because they covet your ministry, covet your success, and/or covet God's grace in your life.
2. False-witness negatives spread lies or "half-truths" about others.
3. Misinformed negatives criticize, complain, whine, or perhaps just become passive out of ignorance or susceptibility to wrong information.
4. Personal-dislike negatives equate distaste for the pastor's tone, style, personality type, sense of humor, and so forth, with appraisal of his character or ministry qualification.
5. Take-up-offense-for-another-person negatives are always willing to make someone else a martyr or relay anonymous grapevine chatter on behalf of someone who allegedly can't or won't speak for themselves.
6. Missiological negatives are Christians who either on the right, rather like fundamentalists, disengage from culture and practice ecclesiological isolationism, or on the left, like liberals, shave off fidelity to the gospel and to the authority of Scripture in their efforts to be more culturally acceptable.
7. Single-issue-voter negatives view the gospel as Jesus plus something else, typically something political or cultural like voting Republican or Democrat, homeschooling, or saving the planet ecologically, but sometimes their issues are more theological like KJV-onlyism or the regulative principle.
8. Little-world negatives do not feel any sense of urgency for hurting and lost neighbors but are distrustful of anything or anyone outside of their proverbial church community, theological faction, denominational affiliation, favorite publishing house offering, political party, or other idol that has obscured their view of God's kingdom.
9. Chain-of-command negatives want more than anything to be at the top. And if they can't be at the top, they want access to the top. They don't obey the chain of command of church leadership, but presume and press, appointing themselves the person at whom the buck stops and demanding to be heard whenever they deem their opinion important.
10. Tradition negatives are anti-change.
11. Unforgiving negatives are mired in bitterness and keep retrieving the same old rocks they have thrown repeatedly, just so they can throw them again.
12. Plank-speck negatives like to preach repentance without actually practicing it, while conveniently overlooking their own sin as they judge others.
13. Diotrephes-negatives are like their forefather in 3 John who apparently employed a two-pronged affront consisting of slandering the character of ministry leaders and seeking to keep neutrals away from the positives. They want to be known; they want to be listed on the literature; they want to be honored; they want to be publicly thanked. They don't want Jesus to be first because they want to be first.
14. Distrust negatives are cynical, suspicious, hard for a leader to win their trust, and even harder for a leader to keep their trust.
15. Control negatives prefer to wield power rather than influence by working through church politics, stall tactics, and other passive-aggressive ways to lead without being a leader.
16. Critic negatives are the hall monitors of church life. They love to nitpick and dig up dirt, no matter how minuscule, and are good at keeping a record of wrongs.
17. Warrior negatives have zeal that usually knows no bounds and are always looking for the next hill to die on.
18. One-handed negatives put everything either in the open hand of flexibility (liberals) or closed hand of inflexibility (fundamentalists). Lacking discernment to know what goes in the open and closed hands, they are constantly half-right and half-wrong, which makes them always a problem.
19. Gossip negatives are always talking about others but never talking to them, often outlandishly doing this in the name of prayer.
20. Theological negatives are the heretics, apostates, and other various theological wing nuts who have an appetite for error.
I thought this list was very insightful. This is not a popular part of pastoral ministry (dealing with negatives), but I have learned that you either deal with them or they will inevitably kill your calling and drive you out of pastoral ministry. There is no neutrality.
K. Edward Copeland delivers the fourth exposition, "Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry (2 Tim 3:1-9)". What was particularly encouraging about Copeland's message was the eschatological reminder of what all our labors are leading to in the big scheme of things. God wins in the end!!! We must minister with one eye towards eternity, being reminded and encouraged by the outcome of our labors.
Bryan Chapell reminds us in his exposition, "Preach the Word (2 Tim 3:10-4:5)", that we must have an unwavering confidence in the infallible sacred Word of God. We must be mighty in the Scriptures or we are of no use to the people we serve. Chapell reminds us that we not only preach to the glory of God, but for the eternal good of His people. Our people must hear the voice of God in the preached Word.
J. Ligon Duncan's closing exposition, "Finishing Well (2 Tim 4:6-22)", reminds us that me must avoid the pitfalls of compromising the ministry amidst the ongoing pressure of contemporary culture. Duncan also draws attention to Paul's personal greetings for particular saints, signifying for us Paul's love for the people. This is a reminder that pastors must be lovers of people, quick to encourage and commend those who love the Savior. Lastly, Duncan reminds us of the benediction, which proclaims God's grace upon Timothy. From beginning to end, we need grace. The good news is that God is rich in His supply of grace. We need not despair, but can always come boldly before the throne of grace and find help in times of need.
The book is very encouraging for all who minister and recommended even for those who may not necessarily discharge ministry from the office of pastor/elder. I'm grateful to Crossway for publishing this book and sending me a copy to review. I'm also grateful for the venerable D.A. Carson, who edited this work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly faithful exposition of God's Word 1 Feb 2011
By J. Nichols - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These men have faithfully and fearfully being carefully expounding the WORD for God's sheep for long amounts of time. All of the words contained are some kind of paraphrase or transcript of the original messages delivered in 2009 at the Gospel Coalition Conference. It is worth every penny, and it captures the spirit of Protestant Reformism. Make it a part of your library; you will not regret it.
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