For Pastors and Scholars
For those of us who believe that pastors ought to be scholarly and that scholars in the seminary ought to be pastoral, two new books have recently been released that are food for the soul. The first is a new English translation of a Dutch original. Willem Van Asselt in 1998 edited a delightful series of essays explicating in brief fashion the contours of Reformed Scholastic method in his Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism which can be obtained here. Van Asselt, along with T. Theo J. Pleizier, Pieter L. Rouwendal, and Maarteen Wisse, offer chapters on what Reformed scholasticism was, how Scholasticism related to the Reformation, the influence of Aristotle on Reformed Scholasticism, as well as that of Augustine, the relationship of Scholasticism to humanism, distinguishing and teaching, studies of early, high, and late orthodoxy, along with a translation of Gisbertus Voetius' treatment of the use of reason in matters of faith. The Voetius material is itself worth the price of the book. All of these riches were locked up in the Dutch language until now (btw, Dutch is a delightful language to learn). Thanks go to Albert Gootjes for the translation, Richard Muller for the new foreword and to Reformation Heritage Books (Joel Beeke and Jay Collier) for bringing this to us. Lest I forget, there is an extremely useful guide to how to find and study Reformed scholastics at the end of the book. Secondly, the ever prolific John Piper and D. A. Carson have published the content of a series of discussions held at the last Gospel Coalition conference on the life of the pastor-scholar and scholar-pastor entitled The Pastor as Scholar & the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry which can be found here. Thanks to Crossway Books for this volume. Both of these titles remind us that ministry is both oriented to teaching or conveying biblical and theological content and providing competent and compassionate soul care. Ministers have nothing if they have not Christ and his Word to offer to their people.