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Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Hardcover – 16 Nov 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; 1 edition (16 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433535823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433535826
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,268,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This book is 'good' in the same way that heart surgery is good. It is painful and scary, and as you read it you'll be tempted to run away from the truth it contains. But it just might save your life… It challenged me and rebuked me, even as it gave me hope and fresh faith in God for pastoral ministry. --Joshua Harris

If you are a congregation wanting to know how to love your leaders, this is a must-buy. --Marcus Honeysett

This excellent volume should be read, re-read and applied. --Terry Virgo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, professor of pastoral life and care at Redeemer Seminary, and executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care, under the auspices of the Association of Biblical Counselors. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, Sex and Money, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources visit paultrippministries.org.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While Paul Tripp writes from his American experience, this book contains wisdom in relation to pastoral ministry everywhere. In many senses, I cannot commend it highly enough - as, in some senses, it was exactly what I needed.

It begins at the training level and shows the false expectations many have at that stage - students' thinking is too theoretical and unprepared for the hard realities of loving people. Throughout their ministry, there are so many temptations - that of simply becoming caught in the routine of preparing the next address for the next deadline without taking time to digest God's Word properly or realise the seriousness of what one is doing, that of craving for people's estimate of one's ministry rather than God's, etc. It concludes on the note that whatever the state of one's ministry, one will always be left saying 'We are unprofitable servants'. The minister is not to find their identity in their ministry - successful or otherwise. Rather, they are to find their identity in the wonder of His grace and realise their absolute dependence on that mercy.

The comments on the book are absolutely right. It should cause congregations to have a deeper appreciations of the joys and pitfalls of pastoral ministry - and cause them to pray for and love their minister more intelligently. And for the minister, it searches their motives, exposes their sins and failure and helps them in their thinking about their work. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Tripp writes with the insight of one who has pastored for many years, one who is aware of the pitfalls of sin to which pastors are particularly susceptible and who longs to warn others who also walk this path. His style is generally quite flowing and it is clear from this writing style that he preaches regularly: somehow the cadences and repetitions of preaching come through in his text in a way which is quite powerful to read. The content is also wise and biblical, formed over years of experience in, and reflection upon, the pastoral calling. If you have had enough of books on ministry, then don't write this one off before giving it a go: I think you will think it worth your time reading.

That said, this book did feel like a long read and I did struggle to wade my way through some sections of it; I also seriously started to lose the will with all the numbered lists therein. However, those are my only negatives. In fact, I appreciated this book so much that I am seriously contemplating buying my own paper copy and rereading it every two to three years as a tool for self-examination in my path of church leadership.

I received a free Kindle version of this galley copy from NetGalley in return for a fair review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The most important aspect when I read a book about ministry is to understand if the author is actually involved in ministry (of course…), to understand his heart and taste his honesty.

Dangerous Calling is soaked with confessions. Paul Tripp’s confessions, and so many tragedies from the ministry field. Inspired title, Dangerous. Paul knows the problem. If you are preparing for ministry or you are involved in ministry, you can certainly understand that he was and he still is in your shoes. He’s sharing humbling and embarrassing things that most of us tend to hide.

I know I am not alone. There are many pastors who have inserted themselves into a spiritual category that doesn’t exist. Like me, they think they are someone they’re not. So they respond in ways that they shouldn’t, and they develop habits that are spiritually dangerous. They are content with a devotional life that either doesn’t exist or is constantly kidnapped by preparation

He examines his heart and motivations in ministry and invites you to walk in his steps, constantly asking himself, how is the Gospel of Jesus Christ forming the heart of the pastor and his ministry local culture. Undoubtedly, if you do not understand the ministry as it was designed by God, you are in a dangerous place. If the work of God and not God Himself is the main motivation, you are in a dangerous place.

The pastor must be enthralled by, in awe of—can I say it: in love with—his Redeemer so that everything he thinks, desires, chooses, decides, says, and does is propelled by love for Christ and the security of rest in the love of Christ. He must be regularly exposed, humbled, assured, and given rest by the grace of his Redeemer.
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Format: Paperback
I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of the author when I received this book as a gift during my training as a minister, so I didn't know what to expect. What I discovered within the pages was a profound look at the unique challenges of ministry. Whilst the book's tile and artwork on the front cover and even the chapter titles may sound like the book is tipped towards the negativity and danger-signs of ministry, I actually found the book to be well-balanced and able to bring the positives and hopefulness out in each section. The warnings are clear and real, but this is not another book telling pastors how bad they're failing. It really attempts to diagnose the condition of a pastor's heart and encourage, caution and guide them through the uniqueness of their ministry. I'm sure that this book has been a benefit to more than just church pastors. I'll be sure to check out some more of Paul David Tripp's work if this is the quality I'll find.
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