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Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (2002)

by John Piper

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2,055285,393 (4.31)5
In this revised and expanded edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals that includes a new introduction and select all-new chapters, best-selling author John Piper pleads through a series of thoughtful essays with fellow pastors to abandon the professionalization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry. "We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry," he writes. "The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God. "Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). you cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed. "The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wine- skins of professionalism."… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I have a confession to make. I don't really get all the fuss over John Piper's books.

I've read quite a few of them. Every time I finish one, I think, "What was all the fuss about?" I think the issue, at least for me, is mostly stylistic. His writing style just doesn't appeal to me. There is something about the cadence and the droning lists that just irk me. Having said that, I'm deeply appreciative of his biblical insights and his passion (that often overwhelms me and irks me even more).

In Brothers, We are Not Professionals, Piper breaks the mold. As far as I'm concerned, this is his magnum opus. Forget Desiring God and . Those things are rags compared to Brothers!! Following in the path of Spurgeon's Lectures to My Students, Piper offers up simple essays that challenge ministers in just about every conceivable way! He addresses everything from the minister's marriage to the need to preach justification by faith. Each chapter tackles a unique topic and could be read on its own. Piper has penned an offering that is sure to mentor young ministers well beyond his own lifetime. I found myself evaluating my own life with each chapter. More than a few blindspots were revealed! I can honestly say that this book has inspired me to (among other things) be more faithful in my study of original biblical languages, to read more Christian biographies, to tell my people "that copper will do" (read chapter 29- you'll agree with me!), and to be more prayerful. I am immensely thankful to John Piper for this offering!

I guess I should admit that, at least in this instance, I DO get all of the fuss! ( )
  RobSumrall | May 14, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Very helpful thoughts on pastoral ministry. The updated edition contains several new chapters, one of which humbly corrects an imbalance in the first edition by arguing that God does in fact make much of us in Christ. Another new chapter addresses the homiletic issue of matching the tone of the message to the tone of the text, which for me has been an instructive way of examining a message beyond simple textual faithfulness. Chapter 27, on the value of bodily exercise, humanizes the book in an important way. Overall, a very good book that has only gotten better. ( )
  cjsdg | May 14, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Piper always tries to write in a way that will communicate to his readers instead of build up his own image. He also writes from the heart, and that is evident on every page. This new edition is even better than the first, and well worth not only your money but your time.
  Tertius | Mar 30, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Having read the first edition back in 2002, I was eager to see what had been added. Chapters like "Bitzer was a Banker" and "Beware of the Debtors Ethic" were etched into my heart upon the first reading of them. This is one of my all-time favorite books by John Piper.

The second edition improves on the first, by adding six new chapters on God's love for His people (4), the glory of God is the highest good of the Gospel (6), the task of preaching the Bible with authority (13), the duty to preach in accord with the tone of the text (18), the necessity of fighting habitual sins (22), and the need to watch your body, as well as your heart, in order to maximize your ministry (27). These chapters are strong additions to what was already a wonderful and heart-searching read.

My only critique would be that the additional chapters being interspersed through the book results in page numbering and chapter numbers being quite different. For the individual reader, this is not a challenge, but when read as a group, its important to ensure that either (a) everyone has the same edition, or (b) the chapter titles of what's being read are communicated so that each person reads the correct pages. ( )
  bulldog | Dec 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
John Piper. Brothers, We Are NOT Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry. Rev. Ed. Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2013. 320 pp. $14.99.

Upon completing his doctoral dissertation, John Piper became a professor of Biblical Studies at Bethel University and Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota (1974-1980). He served as the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 33 years (1980-2013). In 1986, Piper wrote his first book, Desiring God, in which he coined the term Christian hedonist. Since that time, he has authored dozens of books. In 1994 he founded Desiring God Ministries, a non-for-profit parachurch ministry which provides numerous Christian resources free-of-charge.

Brothers, We Are NOT Professionals was first published in 2002. This expanded edition has great cover art. The title continues to be controversial and misunderstood by clergy and laity alike. The book consists of 36 chapters which tackle issues of prayer, baptism, marriage, money, racism, and the art and science of preaching. ( )
  amramey | Dec 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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The preacher . . . is not a professional man;
his ministry is not a profession;
it is a divine institution, a divine devotion.
-- E. M. Bounds
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[Preface to the New Edition] Nothing has happened in the last ten years to make me think this book is less needed.
We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of pastoral ministry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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