Nobody’s Perfect, But…, Part 2

Returning to the issue of blamelessness and Dean Shriver’s book, Nobody’s Perfect, But You Have to Be, one of the book’s numerous strengths is its reminder of the emphasis past generations have appropriately placed on ministerial integrity.  The following are a series of its quotes from notable voices of the past whose words are worthy of our careful consideration.

And let the luster of thy life be a common school of instruction, a pattern of virtue to all, publically exhibited like some original model, containing in itself all beauties affording examples whence those who are willing may easily imprint upon themselves any of its excellencies … For when the life is illustrious, and the discourse corresponds to it, being meek and gentle, and affording no handle to the adversaries, it is of unspeakable advantage.

Chrysostom, in his Homily on Titus

God sent His Son into the world to be the light of the world in two ways, viz. By revealing his mind and will to the world, and also by setting the world a perfect example. So ministers are set to be lights, not only as teachers but as examples to the flock, 1 Peter 5:3. The same thing that ministers recommend to their hearers in doctrine, they should also show them an example in their practice.

Jonathan Edwards, “The True Excellencies of a Gospel Minister “

Take heed to yourselves, lest you exemplify contradictory doctrine. Beware, lest you lay such stumbling blocks before the blind that you occasion their ruin. Beware, lest you undo with your lives, what you say with your tongues. Beware, lest you become the greatest hindrance to the success of your own labors. It hinders our work greatly when other men contradict in private what we have declared to them publically about the Word of God.  This is so because we cannot be there to contradict them and to show their folly.

But it will much more hinder our work if we contradict ourselves. If our actions become a lie to our tongues, then what we may build up in an hour or two of discourse can be demolished with our hands in a week. This is the way to make men think that the Word of God is merely an idle tale and to make preaching appear no better than prating. For he that means as he speaks will surely do as he speaks.”

17th Century Puritan Pastor Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor

You must have holiness; and dear brethren, if you fail in mental qualifications (as I hope you will not), and if you should have a slender measure of the oratorical faculty) (as I trust you will not), yet depend on it, a holy life is in itself a wonderful power, and will make up for many deficiencies; it is in fact the best sermon the best man can deliver.

C. H. Spurgeon, Letters to My Students

As appropriately concluded by several of its reviewers, Nobody’s Perfect ought to be required reading for all ministers and ministerial students.  In so doing, may our lives daily evidence the transforming power of the glorious gospel message.

 

About Al Huss
I am a professor of New Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA

2 Responses to Nobody’s Perfect, But…, Part 2

  1. Jim E says:

    I too hope this workshop is online…would love to hear it…Ahh…Blameless…I think you are right, that may be the key…none of us sinless…all of us hopeless, without the Lord’s touch…but God gives gifts unto men (Ephesians 4:8)…I read again recently that “The gifts of God, once given, cannot be recalled. Even in the presence of sin.”…whether that is totally scriptural, I don’t know…but if it is true, we sure need to hear more and more about being “blameless”…in the margin of my Bible it says, “No sin there…no cover-up” and “No charge brought against”…

    So our need today as in the past (as you shared above) is to be blameless…”What does this world need: Gifted men outwardly empowered? Or broken men, inwardly transformed?”…

    • Al Huss says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jim. I especially appreciated your concluding statement regarding what this world needs — “broken men, inwardly transformed,” to which I say AMEN!

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