“What I found once I started reading this book was that I didn’t agree with 90% of what it is said.”
I was first introduced to this book a little while ago by a member of the staff at Maple Grove Evangelical Free church. This person did warm me that the theological and philosophical perspectives of this author were most likely different than the average evangelical, but I was captured by this passage in the book:
Anger in particular seems close to a professional vice in the contemporary ministry. Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church for not coming and angry at those who do come for coming without enthusiasm. They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, an anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyzes a generous heart. If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger in the servants of Christ.
It was this passage from the book that brought tears to my eyes because I knew that – for me – these words were too close to home. I have seen pastors who embody this description and I myself have been and know will be faced with the temptation to be the “angry pastor.” So I asked to borrow the book to see if I could find more encouraging and edifying insight for my life.
What I found once I started reading this book was that I didn’t agree with 90% of what it is said.
While much of the book has very interesting “insights”, it was in my opinion one person’s enamored response to an investigation into the lives of what we refer to as the “Desert Fathers”. And it was this enamored perspective that Henri tries to make applicable for today’s christian minister.
Because the book is very short (less than 100pgs and the size of a gift book), I will restrain myself from going into it much. Even though it isn’t one I agree with wholeheartedly, I will say that it is a very good read to ponder and think about. So I don’t seem like a “book basher” I will share some of my more positive insights from this book.
Regarding the “busy life”:
“…we are busy people just like all other busy people, rewarded with the rewards which are rewarded to busy people
Regarding setting a time and a place to be with God and Him alone:
“…a real discipinle never remains vague or general.”
A quote I am still digesting is:
“The goal of our life is not people. It is God.”
So do I recommend it? Sure
Will I personally buy it? No.