Barnabas Piper: The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity pub David C. Cook, 2014, 162pp
It is refreshing to have a book that takes an honest look at the pressures and privileges of a pastor’s kids – both within the family and in the congregation. Barnabas Piper is the son of Rev John Piper, who many know as an evangelical preacher and writer with an international profile. Barnabas also knows him as Dad.
There is no sense in the book that he wants to ‘bag’ his father (or mother, and yes, mothers are involved too) yet he is open about the difficulties of being a pastor’s kid – the expectations, the spoken and unspoken assumptions, the difficulties of being his own person, defining his own faith and gifts and of course, the often spoken of ‘fishbowl’. He is also open about how pastors relate to their children, and how children often see the disparity between what is said in the pulpit and what happens in the home. Some of what he has to say is also useful for parents who are not pastors.
It is a book that pastors and their wives and also congregations could do well to read. It has limitations, however, for us as Victorian Presbyterians, in that the American scene is very different and John Piper has a unique ministry. Sometimes I think Piper is idealistic about parenting but, as a father himself, he is honest about the difficulties. I would have liked the book to be more anchored in Scripture, but in saying so I am probably illustrating some of what Piper is saying.
The book is available both in paperback and as an eBook. I read it in the latter format but it is not an expensive volume and I would suggest buying the paperback and sharing it around. In looking it up on Amazon I see it is listed as Barnabas Piper and John Piper (Foreword), Oh, the irony!
Book Review written by Joan Milne
I'll be honest. The reason I bought 'Women's Ministry in the Local Church', by J. Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt was born of a thirst to understand what the Bible had to say about Women's Ministries.
My understanding of women's ministries was that it was an event, it was always something you went to. I never found participating in these events particularly encouraging, helpful or meaningful. It became a task I had to do because I was a woman.
This book caught my eye for a few reasons, the title, the well respected authors, and the recommendations on the back cover.
The book begins with this statement,
"The purpose of this book is to strengthen Christ's Church by presenting a practical theology of women's ministry in the local church.
The book will answer five fundamental questions:
So far, so good. Ticking a lot of my boxes. I was a woman on a mission, looking for answers. I had lived through what I had been taught to believe women's ministries was, but I could never find anyone to talk me through what the Bible had to say about it, and to be frank, some of the biblical passages were hard to understand.
I started reading, and was soon reaching for a pencil to underline paragraphs and statements that answered my questions, clarified biblical passages, explained the reason for and the importance of women's ministry and inspired new questions!
Both authors site their own personal experiences with women's ministries, that are insightful and personal. I particularly enjoyed reading Susan Hunt's retelling of her own journey of discovery as to what women's ministries should be. It was very helpful to understand the process she went through and the support she had from her own minister, elders and the Presbyterian Church of America.
There is so much more I could say, but I won't . Instead I'll encourage you to get a copy and read it. This book isn't just for those seeking answers like me, but would be a refreshing read for anyone, new or not so new at women's ministry.
Women's Ministries Victoria