“Let’s make lunch for Mommy! I’ll pick the ingredients.”
“Let’s make lunch for Mommy! I’ll pick the ingredients.”
I finished Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake today. By Gary Miller and Phil Campell, it’s a breezy read with lots of practical advice on how to preach more clearly. It helped me. Recommended.
Singing this at church tomorrow:
What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with thy favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.
What language shall I borrrow to thank thee, dearest Friend,
For this, thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to thee.
By Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
The number of people in 2015 that watched a Bob Ross marathon: 5.6 million.
That being said, any vision for web-decentralization needs to also consider the value of groups; being able to assemble and communicate in groups (on/off-line) is a necessary part social life.
In fact, it is mainly because of my Facebook groups that I haven’t deleted my FB account yet. Even without privacy, these are still valuable to me and make it hard to leave FB. So what are the best alternatives to Facebook groups for a web that doesn’t depend on Facebook? Not listserv, I hope. I’m trying MeWe.
The snuggle is real.
“You can observe a lot by watching.” —Yogi Berra
For a class I’m teaching on covenant theology (i.e. the study of God’s promises), I read The Covenant Life: Appreciating the Beauty of Theology and Community by Sarah Ivill. It’s a book written for Christian women to help them learn about God’s Covenant of Grace and what it means to live by it, as individuals and as part of a community. It’s a nice introduction to covenant theology. Men can enjoy it too. 📚
Currently reading: The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene H. Peterson 📚
Tim Herrera: “Our brains tend to prioritize immediate satisfaction over long-term rewards.”
Of the many books on leadership I’ve read, Mark Strom’s Lead with Wisdom: How Wisdom Transforms Good Leaders into Great Leaders is one of my favorites. That’s why it is a part of the leadership development going on at my church.
Lead with Wisdom is both profound and practical. Like most books on leadership, you can get some great tips/reminders with a quick skim, but this one deserves a careful read. And then a re-read six months later. And then every so often when you get in a slump. Anyway, that is how it has been for me.
Here are just a few of the places marked in my copy.
What is wisdom?
Wisdom is reading and living the patterns of life.
How do you find wisdom?
Personally I find it helpful to think in terms of attentiveness and presence. Wisdom asks me to pay attention to life; to notice and wonder and consider. Life is so big. Sometimes I can’t start ‘out there’; I have to start ‘in here’. It isn’t natural for me to pay attention or to be present to what is happening around and within me. I’m too busy. Too distracted. But sometimes, without warning, a door opens to wonder. I start to pay attention. Stillness becomes possible. I may find myself uncommonly present to others and to the world, its beauty and its travail. That is where my learning starts.
Leadership doesn’t require a fancy title and a corner office.
Position is only a context for leading.
What to do before a meeting:
- Take some time on your own.
- Put your notes away.
- Think about the people.
- See them as people, not colleagues.
- Imagine them flourishing.
- Commit to being present to bless.
When leading people, language matters:
...official labels or definitions rarely carry the key meanings. We find those in the informal language: in the anecdotes, analogies, and metaphors that people use to assure themselves they know what’s going on. These might be true and strong, or false and weak. If a leader is to stimulate change, she must get inside this language and—subtly—strengthen or subvert it as appropriate.
Mission statements require meaningful stories.
Until there is a story, there is no vision. Until there is an argument for that story, there is no strategy.
The three factors of a good reputation:
Competence gets us in the game. Integrity keeps us there. Brilliance gives us the edge.
The road of sin is easy to get on and it’s easy to stay on. As Jesus said, “The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction.”
Why is this?
Perhaps one reason is that we rarely have any trouble finding a way to sin once we’ve decided to commit a sin.
Jonah is a good example of this. Jonah is a prophet who decides to flee the presence of the Lord and then, almost without trying, he finds a way to do that.
But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. (Jonah 1:3 ESV)
So Jonah found a boat. The Hebrew word for “found” (matza) may have a more specific meaning here: according to one dictionary it can mean “to stumble upon” or “to meet accidentally.” Jonah wanted to disobey, and he quickly found the means to do it.
Ah! how often the angry boy, on the playground, has found the ready stone with which to prosecute his quarrel and vent his wrath, creating long-lasting matter of pain to another agreed to himself! How often the man of unbridled temper and murderous envy, jealousy or rage... in the heat and fit of over boiling hatred of his brother... has found as at his very hand, so opportune, so fatal, the deadly weapon... as if the very fiend of malice placed the ready javelin in Saul’s hand, wherewith, save for special providence, the youthful Psalmist of Israel, their future king, had been pinned to the wall in instead of death.
Yes; it is a terrible truth that the sinner will usually find provided, as it were, to his hand, the implements and opportunities which a heart set to do evil will easily transform into helps to sin.
It is dangerous to enter the road that leads to destruction. When you step onto that road, nothing is holding you back except the grace of the very God whom you are sinning against.
Are looking for Facebook alternatives like MeWe? Maybe you’re a little worried about trying something new.
Facebook is so familiar. And it can be hard to move on, especially if you have come to love, or at least not hate as much, some of Facebook’s unique “features.” Here are seven of them. Seven things that make Facebook different from MeWe.
So… as you might guess, I’m posting on MeWe more these days. Come find me there! Or, if you are a cellist, if you study early Christianity, or if you are Reformed pastor, join me in one of these groups.
Cello Section—for those interested in all things cello
Early Christian Studies—for those who study patristics, late antiquity, early Christianity, etc.
Reformed Pastors—for ordained pastors who hold to Reformed doctrine and piety
I found a collection of mealtime prayers in a Bible that once belonged to my wife’s great-grandmother. (There’s no attribution information other than that.) I formatted it to fit a single page and did some light editing, mostly to update the English. The prayers are all short but rich in biblical piety. That makes them pretty kid-friendly. And our kids do love the chance to pick one from the list and lead the family. Maybe you can use it too. A PDF download link is at the bottom.
For the continuing of your lovingkindness unto us, we give you all thanks, O Lord. Fulfill all our needs and save us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
You have saved and preserved us, O Lord. May we by our lives never bring reproach upon the name of Jesus, but ever learn to live for you, and to your honor. Amen.
Lord, may you never cease your kindly care over us, and may we also continue unceasingly to bless you for all your past and present blessings. Amen.
Do bless our meal today, and may your Spirit fill us with gratitude for all these abundant blessings. Amen.
Give us grace to be grateful for the blessings which you have so bountifully spread before us today. In your own name we pray. Amen.
O God who satisfies our mouths with the good things, we praise you for your gracious providence, and invoke your blessing as we partake. Amen.
We give you thanks for life and all its blessings. Give this food to nourish our bodies, and your Word of Truth to sustain our souls. Amen.
Keep us ever humble, Lord, that we may be the ready recipients of your goodness. Deliver us from pride and wickedness, and supply our wants. Amen.
O Lord, we thank you for life and the joy of living, for health and strength, and for these blessings fresh from your hand of love. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
All things come to you, O Lord, and for these and all your blessings we give hearty thanks, in the name of Christ our redeemer. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, this provision of your goodness to our use, and us to your service, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Thanks be to you, O Lord, for these and all the blessings so generously provided. We thank you in the name of Christ. Amen.
Lord, we thank you for this food. Sanctify it to our use, pardon our sins, and save us for Christ’s sake. Amen.
O God, your mercies are fresh every day and call forth each day anew our voices of thanksgiving. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
We thank you, our Heavenly Father, for these your good gifts. Bless them to our use, sanctify us and save us, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Our Father, we ask you to bless the food before us to our physical needs, and feed our spirits with your truth, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Dear Lord, accept our sincere thanks for these new blessings, and hear us in our prayer for pardon. In Jesus’ name we ask you. Amen.
The strength of the hills, and the depth of the sea, the earth and its fulness belongs to you; and yet to the lowly you bend your ear, so ready to hear their humble petitions. Amen.
We are ever conscious, Lord, of our sinfulness and our constant need of you. Support our lives by your grace, and bring us safely to your heavenly home. Amen.
Cover all our sins with you pardon, O Christ, and make us strong to overcome all sins, especially the sin of ingratitude. In all these bounties help us to see you, and glorify you. Amen.
Lord, you art a fountain that never fails. Fail us not in this, our physical need. And help us to call on you for the daily supply of spiritual power we need. Through Christ. Amen.
» Download 21 Prayers for Mealtime as a one-page PDF.
On Wednesday, I wrote about Derek Webb’s new song, “The Spirit Bears the Curse,” and how it unnerved me. Unsurprisingly, I’m not the only one, and “What is Derek doing with this song?” is a common question. One friend asked: “Do you think he’s championing alcohol-abuse or being ironic—exposing its idolatrous potential?” [Here is the song if you haven’t heard it yet.]
I don’t think this question is easy to answer. It’s hard to know exactly what Derek is doing. Derek is a smart guy whose work is layered. And that’s true throughout this album, Fingers Crossed. Also, he is a human, and it may be that Derek himself doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing. Who of us does?*
But having limited knowledge is not the same as knowing nothing. So I think we can take a crack at my friend’s question. My answer is complicated though because I think “The Spirit Bears the Curse” doesn’t easily fits as either championing alcohol-abuse or being ironic. Let me explain.
First, no one champions alcohol-abuse. That’s way too weird. And that’s why celebrating drunkenness often masquerades as “partying.” But “The Spirit Bears the Curse” doesn’t work as a party song either. It is too dark for that.
You hear the darkness in the transition that intros the song. You see it in the visual starkness of the PowerPoint slides (though I get that it is also a nod “praise team” operations). And it is there in the musical layers under the melody, the subtle, perhaps insidious, way in which Alcohol is introduced, the manic presentation of that word at the end, and then in the visual and musical conclusion that is both lonely and despairing. In the main, it sounds like a typical worship song, but there is darkness too: around the edges, flowing underneath, and at key moments. These things keep this song from being an anthem to alcohol-abuse.
I also want to add that the genre is all wrong for a kickin’ Let’s get drunk; isn’t alcohol awesome?! kind of song. By putting these lyrics in the mode of an evangelical praise song, the register shifts up. In this genre, you can’t celebrate getting drunk; you have to worship it.
But worshiping Alcohol is such a crazy thing to do and be serious about, that one wonders if Derek is being ironic. But I don’t think he is. A few years ago I might have said he was. A few years ago I might have said that this was either a dig at CCM/evangelicalism, a wake up call to our idolatries, or both. It still works at those levels but something much bigger and deeper and sadder is going on here.
Given the trials of his life right now, as described on this album and publicly on the web, I don’t think we can say—and I don’t think Derek wants us to think—that he is standing outside of idolatry and speaking about it “prophetically.” Derek’s glorying in Alcohol is real and personal. And so is his experience of the darkness that comes from serving a god who lives in a glass. If Derek is a prophet, he is Jonah getting swallowed by a fish. And it is an intensely personal and non-ironic experience.
The fact that Derek is sharing that with us is remarkable. That’s part of what’s unnerving about it too. As always, Derek is transgressing the boundaries of what one ought to say. He gives us a window so that we can look into the private spaces of his life. And what we see is horrifying. Derek is being eaten by a monster even as he worships it. But as the light of this truth hits the glass, the window becomes a mirror too, and we see ourselves right there with him.
Is our love of sin ironic? Yeah, I guess. But I’d rather call it tragic.
# # #
P. S. Some of the best conversations I’ve had over the past few days have been with addicts of various stripes who are currently in recovery. Are you in the middle of a tragedy? There is real hope. Let’s talk.
Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, Jonah saying, “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!” And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. —Jonah 2, ESV
One of Jesus’ apostles, John, ends a letter he wrote with these words: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” John is an old man when he writes this. And he writes from experience and with tenderness. He knows the inevitable pain and the suffering that come when we give our lives over to anything other than the one, true God.
This morning I was reminded why John is both so tender and so serious in his charge as I listened to Derek Webb’s unnerving new praise song, “The Spirit Bears the Curse.” I don’t want to describe the song because it’s not what you think and you need to listen to it for yourself. But I will tell you that it broke my heart in ten different ways and it made me weep, especially in light of the painful unraveling of Derek’s marriage, faith, and life, and the unraveling we all—yes, all—experience whenever we trust in idols.
God help us. God help Derek.
Here is the video.
Everyone wants a pastor who works hard and works smart. Productive pastors make good use of limited resources. And they bless the church with the ministry of Christ. So we ought to encourage our ministers to be good stewards of their gifts. But we must never encourage them to pursue productivity at any cost.
This is a real danger. Because while being productive is a virtue, we live in an age that is obsessed with productivity. Working hard is good, but the modern world has turned working hard into a religion and has made productivity its god. And if we are not wise to this, we may encourage our ministers to work in a way that does more harm than good. For, as Pascal warns, when we “pursue virtues to their extremes on either side, vices present themselves.”
Like any false religion, the modern cult of productivity loves to promise more than it can deliver. Guardian reporter Oliver Burkeman gives an example of this in his excellent article, “Why Time Management Is Ruining Our Lives.” In the late nineteenth-century housewives were promised that “labour-saving machines” would give them more free time. But as their efficiency in housework increased so did society’s expectations for cleanliness. “Now that the living-room carpet could be kept perfectly clean, it had to be; now that clothes never needed to be grubby, grubbiness was all the more taboo.” Ministers face a similar situation today. Now that they have access to millions of books, they are expected to access them. And if a minister can host his own radio shows, publish his own books, and mentor people around the world, why shouldn’t he? Perhaps he should. But no one can do everything, or even most things. And those who try to do it all, often find that it backfires.
John Pencavel, a Stanford professor analyzing data on munitions workers during WWII, found that after forty-nine hours of work in a week, gains in productivity decreased. According to the Harvard Business Review, one study found that “managers could not tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to.” Moreover, studies also show that overwork can lead to “all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease.”
The cult of productivity also dehumanizes us. Whereas God sanctifies our humanity, the idol of productivity destroys it. One way the modern productivity movement dehumanizes us is by mechanizing us. Think of how the priests of productivity use the language of machines and assembly lines to talk about how you should “streamline your laundry” or “optimize your digestion.”
J. Gresham Machen once said that he loved to climb because it refreshed his soul and helped him “escape…from the heartless machinery of the world.” But these days, even our rest and recreation must bow to the god of productivity. Once a midday nap was a time for quiet, prayer, and refreshment. Now you should probably feel guilty for that nap, or at least “hack it” to get more done when you wake up.
Machen once climbed the Matterhorn in Italy. It became a treasured memory. “We sat on the Italian summit, with our feet over Italy and our backs to a little wall of summit snow, and let our eyes drink in the marvelous beauty of the scene. What a wonderful help it is in all discouragements, what a blessed gift of God, to be able to bring before the mind’s eye such a vision as that.”
Sadly, many ministers today—Machen’s men included—are no longer fleeing from the mechanized world but have taken its ideas into their ministry and into the church. I include myself among them for all the times I’ve considered food, sleep, or bodily exercise as “necessary evils” instead the blessed gifts of God.
Before leaving this point I must add that sometimes mechanization is only a cover for something even worse: deification. Just as a minister is not a machine, neither is he God. The world, however, suggests otherwise. Daily, we are told that creaturely limits can be overcome, or at least nearly so, by simply working harder and making smarter choices. This cultural impulse is strong. So strong, in fact, that in a recent New York Times article on the benefits of running, the writer felt compelled to remind her readers that “running does not make people immortal.” Good to know!
The truth is we all have limitations and we need to admit that. Ministers included. Only God knows everything, can fix anything, and can be everywhere at once. As Zach Eswine writes in The Imperfect Pastor, we needn’t repent that we’re not God, only for trying to be. But when ministers refuse to repent for trying to be God, they inevitably harm everyone around them. Because ministers don’t burn out like a light. They burn out like a fuse on a bomb.
Admitting our limits means respecting that we are creatures. It also means respecting that we are diverse. God didn’t make all men the same. Some ministers are healthy; some are sick. Some men need eight hours to prepare a sermon; others need sixteen. And our life circumstances can also affect the shape of pastoral ministry. B. B. Warfield’s life is an example of this.
Benjamin and Anna were newlyweds in Germany when they got caught in a thunderstorm that caused Anna severe trauma to her nervous system and eventually made her bedridden. But Benjamin loved his wife. So because of her fragile condition, he made the choice to stay close to home throughout his career. This likely increased B. B. Warfield’s literary output—he “has done about as much work as ten ordinary men,” Machen said. But as Warfield’s friend Francis Patton remembered, this choice also made him unable to preach, take part in the debates of the General Assembly, serve on church boards, and take other speaking engagements.
Still, it can be hard to admit one’s limitations. The Wall Street Journal reported that “out of every 100 people who believe they only need five to six hours of sleep a night only about five people really do.” Why is it so hard to admit our limits?
One reason is that it requires us to be humble and admit our need for others. I think of the apostles who, in the early part of their ministry, had to face the fact that under their watch a scandal arose: some widows were not receiving church funds because they were Greek. Remarkably, the apostles did not double down and fix the problem themselves. Instead, they told the church to find other men to help so that they could devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. In doing this, the apostles had to tell the church that they were unable to solve a problem that needed to be solved, that they had to rely on other people and trust that God would supply the need. That takes humility.
Today, some ministers find themselves in a similar situation. They have a particular calling and yet find their schedules filled with duties that more properly belong to ruling elders, deacons, and even non-ordained members. It may be tempting to just try harder, but sometimes humility is what is really needed.
Of course, it will be asked: What about when there is no help? What about church plants, for example, where there are no local elders or deacons and the church is small? It’s a good question and it gets us to the second reason why it’s hard to admit the limitations of pastoral ministry.
When we admit our limitations we are forced to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions. If help cannot be found, it may require stopping activities that feel important, godly, and even necessary. Just as Jesus did when he would stop healing people in order to be alone and pray. So it may be that the church directory should must another year. Or perhaps the number of meetings should be limited. Or maybe starting an evening service should be postponed until the pastor is a faster at preparing his sermons. Every church will be different and will have to find their own way to live humbly before the Lord.
Of course, not everyone needs to slow down and do less. Honesty will require some ministers and churches to be more zealous and effective than they currently are. We must be good stewards of all God has given us, our individual gifts and our corporate gifts.
But if we are honest, we will learn to recognize that God has given us gifts and limitations. This is humbling on both accounts, but it is also a double blessing because it teaches us to lean on God for all that we have and all that we don’t; to trust Him for all the things we can’t do, and by faith, do all that we can.
With the help of some friends, I’ve created something special: a preacher’s workshop that will help preachers improve their preaching.
It’s not a conference where someone talks about preaching, though there will be a warm-up lecture. It is a workshop where preachers work alongside each other in a focused, collaborative, and encouraging way. And it’s free!
Named after Tucson, I’m calling it the Old Pueblo Preacher’s Workshop.
The first event will last half a day and focus on only one aspect of preaching: sermon introductions. Future workshops will be devoted to things like transitions, application, illustration, and exposition.
We’ll start with a paper presentation and large group discussion. I’ll be presenting “How to Start a Sermon: Gathered Advice from the Greats.” After that, we’ll break into small groups of 5-7 people to study and discuss examples of sermon introductions from various preachers, then write and workshop our own introductions based on the same passage. At the end, we come together for closing thoughts and discussion. By then it will be lunch time, so I’m hoping folks will turn out for an afterglow at Zona 78 Italian Kitchen.
Sound good? I think so!
Any preacher worth his salt is always working to improve his ministry of the Word. The Old Pueblo Preacher’s Workshop is just one more way to that. And did I mention it’s free?
The workshop will be July 29th, 2017 from 9:00am-12:30pm. And my brothers at Rincon Mountain PCA have generously offered to host it. Check out the online invitation here and register if you want to attend. Registration will be open through July 25th.
If you are looking for a way to block access to pornography on your Android smartphone, I’ve got a solution for you. Maybe you are a parent giving a child their first phone. Maybe you are an employer who is concerned about employee productivity, legal issues, security, and ethical behavior. Or maybe you are personally addicted to pornography and trying to make a change, but think that you still need to have a smartphone. Whatever your reason, there is an easy way you can screen out the porn and still have the benefits of a smartphone. A friend of mine came up with this solution for the Android phone he needed to have for work.
Have you found a better solution for keeping pornography off your Android? And what about Windows or iOS? Sharing your ideas might be helpful for others.
Photo Credit: Flickr
A summary and review of “The Best Method of Preaching” by Petrus van Mastricht.
When Petrus van Mastricht (1630–1706) wrote The Best Method of Preaching he was a well-respected theologian and seventeen years into his pastoral ministry. Believing that a good method of preaching is essential for the exposition and application of any text, van Mastricht aimed to take the best advice on preaching from “great men” (namely, William Perkins, William Ames, Oliver Bowles, Guiilelmus Saldenus, and “especially the celebrated Johannes Hoornbeeck”) and distill it into a manageable form. In this, van Mastricht purposely avoided, as he puts it, “custom (institutum) of those who compose dense volumes concerning the method of preaching, the perusal and even the reading of which demands as much time of theology students as a proper syntagma of theology.”
So although the title may suggest otherwise, The Best Method of Preaching is a modest book. It’s even a small book: only eighty-two pages, including the excellent historical in- troduction written by the translator, Todd Rester (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary). It is the kind of resource a mentoring pastor might give to his summer intern, and I write this review from that perspective.
5. Preaching Comfort to Believers The ingredients, rules, and affections of the consolatory use XI. Seventh, the practical application follows, which respects . . .Unless you catch that chapter 5 is fleshing out step three in his four-step process, or that it is introducing—without warning—chapters 6 and 7, you’ll be even more confused. Examples like this could be easily multiplied. If the book were longer I suspect it would be nearly unusable. But the book is short enough to benefit anyone who reads it, especially those who read more closely. Another weakness I see is in van Mastricht's advice about the structure of ther semon. Van Mastricht advises the plain style of preaching common among the Puritans. This is a reliable sermon structure and has been used with great benefit, but it is not perfect. For one, despite the warnings van Mastricht gives about being selective, he offers scant advice on how to do this. Thus this method can easily overwhelm a preachers with all the things one might profitably include. This makes sermon preparation difficult and it tends to produce sermons that more easily fall into abstraction, moralism, and being overly dense. Having not read any of van Mastricht's sermons I can't say that he fell into any of these traps, but these are critiques sometimes made of Puritan preaching. Of course, preachers can and have used this style profitably, but it usually requires a deeper knowledge of how sermons and sermon preparation works than what is offered. So I hesitate to say that van Mastricht’s method is “best," but it does have several strengths that make this book a helpful introduction to preaching. The brevity of the work is a strength. It allows one to learn an essentially reliable method of preaching relatively quickly. And van Mastricht's comments on moving in an orderly way from text to sermon are excellent. The book shines the most, however, in van Mastricht’s advice on the content of the sermon, or “ingredients” as he calls it. The rules his gives and the specific affections that should be targeted are helpful to read and know. Preachers who study and memorize these will no doubt discover important applications of Scripture that they have missed, forgotten, or neglected in their preaching. There is much that makes this work valuable, but this alone makes van Mastricht’s method worthy of study.