BOOK F E A T U R E ______ PRACTICAL C THEOLOGY J t f
to God. The purpose of the program should be to bring the individual to a meaningful worship of God and a life dedicated to the purposes of God. Fulfilling God’s command to evangelize must also occupy the pastor’s attention. This includes the training of laymen for personal evangelism as well as sending them forth to reach the commu nity. A missionary emphasis also characterized the New Testament church. The pastor with a mis sionary heart will develop interest in both home and foreign missions, challenging the local church to support this outreach financially, as well as en couraging young people to give their lives to this ministry. To meet the need o f individuals in his congre gation, he will find it necessary to institute a counseling program. Thus he will be able to help his people solve personal and family problems as well as to minister to them in times o f crises. Among the books which will prove helpful to the pastor who wants to improve his ministry are the following: In the general field of practical theology prob ably the most ambitious work published is Baker’s Dictionary of Practical Theology edited by Ralph G. Turnbull (Baker Book House, $8.95). A total o f eighty-five writers contributed to this extensive work which is an attempt to pre sent a concise yet usable sourcebook in the field of practical theology. The division o f the material is in ten areas as follows: I. Preaching; II. Homi letics ; III. Hermeneutics; IV. Evangelism-Mis sions ; V. Counseling; VI. Administration; VII. Pastoral; VIII. Stewardship; IX. Worship; and X. Education. The student looking forward to the ministry will find this an invaluable source book for in formation in each area. While it would be diffi cult to establish a standard especially in the realms of interpretation and church polity, the reader who will accept the fact that the articles reflect the opinion o f the writers will be able to glean practi cal help in the solution of a wide variety o f prob lems. Especially valuable is the extensive bibliog raphy on each subject. A book that should help the pastor of the smaller church who feels his church has stagnat ed is Advancing the Smaller Church by W. Curry Mavis (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1968). The author states, “ A great many churches are little because they have not met their problems real istically nor organized an effective plan of out reach.” This book attacks this problem with the purpose o f jarring smaller churches from their lethargy and outlining methods by which they can effectively serve their constituency as well as evan gelize their communities. Especially helpful are suggestions on maintaining morale, leadership, edu cation, finances and publicity.
byDr.Glenn O Meal A d e p a r t m e n t of practical theology? “ Isn’t all theology ‘practical’ ?” someone asks. In other Seminary departments the Bible is taught syste matically in a practical manner. However, in the department of practical theology attention is given to methods of proclaiming God’s message and ad vancing God’s program in the Church. The main areas of activity of a pastor’s min istry are preaching and leadership of the entire church program. Preaching must occupy the place o f supreme importance if the church is to main tain the emphasis of the New Testament church. It is the goal o f training in sermon preparation to challenge pastors to teach when they preach and preach when they teach. In order to accom plish this purpose, the expository method of preach ing must be adopted and perfected. The reason that such a great number of lay people are so woe fully ignorant o f the Bible is that so many pastors take a text, promptly depart therefrom, add a few clever sayings and a couple of threadbare stories and then make an application. In order for a healthy well-taught church to be developed, there must be a solid content in the messages from the Word of God and thus an appeal based on “ thus saith the Lord.” Of course the Word o f God must be related to life. There are some who think this rules out the expository method because it is impossible to preach the Word and deal with the problems of modem life at the same time. However, the careful student o f the Bible and the problems of modem society will recognize that the areas o f concern today are similar to those faced in Bible times. Depraved human nature hasn’t changed very much. Thus the pastor who is willing to study the needs of his people in the light of the Word o f God can have an effective ministry meeting the needs of modem man with eternal truth. Next to preaching, the second area of emphasis of the pastor is the administration of the entire church program. This includes the Christian Education program of the church in which he focuses on the goal of relating all knowledge and every activity o f life
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