Book Reviews: The Wounded Minister

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The Wounded Minister—Healing From and Preventing Personal Attacks by Guy Greenfield (Baker Books)

What happens to the minister who is asked to resign from his church for no biblical wrongdoing whatsoever? How does he get past the hurt of knowing powerbrokers of the church no longer want him? What can the minister do to help his family not be bitter toward God’s people?

The period after a forced resignation is a lonely time. Guy Greenfield, a former pastor and seminary professor, experienced the storm of a forced resignation, and he wrote a supportive and insightful book to help the wounded minister.

Greenfield used two terms—“clergy killers” and “pathological antagonists”—to describe church members who attack ministers. Clergy killers believe it is their calling to “intentionally target pastors for serious injury or destruction.” Pathological antagonists use no substantive evidence to attack the minister personally and make unrealistic demands.

The book does not bash those who attack the pastor, but it gives biblical and psychological insight about why this may occur, as well as providing suggestions for the minister to rebuild his life after being wounded. The book also is for lay leaders who desire to protect their pastor from clergy killers and pathological antagonists.

A fellow minister gave me this book after I experienced a forced resignation, and I found it helpful in healing the hurt of being betrayed by church members I highly respected. Now I pass along copies to ministers who have been “down to the gates of Sheol” as the result of a forced resignation.

Mike Midkiff, pastor

Oak Grove Baptist Church, Harleton

A Distinctively Baptist Church: Renewing Your Church in Practice by Ronnie Prevost (Smyth & Helwys)

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A Distinctively Baptist Church is a timely, fresh book that merges the need for churches to understand the Baptist contribution to the Christian movement and the opportunity to help new generations of Baptists know the unique distinctives that shape historic Baptist life. It helps churches rethink how their life and fellowship ought to be shaped by who we historically have been.

The distinctives Ronnie Prevost articulates and weaves through the book are the authority of Scripture, the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and baptism, the priesthood of all believers, local-church autonomy and religious liberty/separation of church and state.

Prevost writes well and provides a helpful but concise sweep of our roots, interspersing historical references throughout the book. This is a great course for local-church leadership, complete with questions at the end of each chapter for discussion and reflection.

Michael R. Chancellor, pastor

Crescent Heights Baptist Church



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