Shout out to:
1. John Piper and his poem, “The Calvinist.” Trust me, it’s not what you think it is, i.e. a dry ode to Calvnistic theology. I initially was just going to skim the poem, but I found myself drawn in and have since read it several times. It could really just be called “The Christian,” as it is an engaging poetic narrative about someone seeking to follow the Lord, along with all the joys, pains, struggles, and hopes that go along with that journey.
2. Jared Wilson and his “Thoughts on the Restoration of Fallen Pastors.” Sadly, pastors fall and they will continue to fall. But what happens next? While a pastor can always be restored to church fellowship, can a fallen pastor also ever be restored to vocational ministry? Wilson says, “probably,” but based on the following points:
1. Discerning godly grief is necessary
2. Restoration to the fellowship is not the same as restoration to the pastorate
3. [A fallen pastor] cannot restore himself, i.e. the church where the pastor has been at determines if and when a fallen pastor should be restored
Wilson goes on to offer this helpful quote from John Piper:
"Forgiveness comes quickly, expensively, and immediately, on repentance. But trust doesn’t, cannot.
"If a pastor has betrayed his people, and it has wounded a church grievously and wounded his wife grievously, he can be forgiven just like that. Wiped away. The blood of Jesus covers it. But as far as reestablishing trust, which is essential to a shepherd/sheep and wife/husband relationship, how long does that take? A decade? It takes a long time, a long time, until memories are healed.
"And very practically I think this is what I would say: A man who commits adultery, say, in the ministry, should immediately resign and look for other work. And he should make no claim on the church at all. He should get another kind of job and go about his life humbly receiving the discipline and sitting and receiving ministry, whether in that church or in another church. And then the church should turn that around if it believes it should, not him."
Lots of other good insights in blog post. Wilson finishes with this:
"The gospel is not expendable. But our ministries are. If you are a fallen pastor eager for restoration to ministry, I urge you not to see your time away or the discipline involved in the meantime as graceless. It in fact may be your next lesson in just how big God’s grace really is. You may cheapen grace rushing back into that pulpit, assuming you can only be validated by a return to platform, if only because you remain unwilling to see just how greatly grace can sustain you and satisfy you outside of the spotlight. He is good enough to supply your every need."