Subscribe now

Style or substance — the nature of true Christian ministry

By William Taylor
January 2017 | Review by James Clark
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-78191-229-4
  • Pages: 142
  • Price: 7.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

This is a readable book. It contrasts the boastful but shallow facade of Paul’s rivals at Corinth with the deeper substance of apostolic gospel ministry.

This contrast is the main theme of this series of addresses. The former kind of ministry is shown to be ineffective in giving lasting comfort to the genuine Christian. Such ministry emphasises the bold and spectacular aspects of what proves to be a shallow evangelism, with a man-centred message.

The authors rightly criticise the multiplicity of ‘ministries’ nowadays, including ‘prosperity ministries’ and ‘try-harder ministries’. They also give attention to ‘spirit ministries’ which contradict the actual words of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.

This book is a timely reminder that the problems at Corinth are still alive and causing as much havoc now, as then. In the words of the authors, ‘Paul is adamant that we should stick with the real thing, for only the unchanged message … will have the power to change the heart and work lasting change. Everything else is surface froth’ (p.63).

James Clark

Inverness

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Being a Pastor: A conversation with Andrew Fuller
Michael Haykin

In their introduction, the authors express their concern regarding the effect of megachurch pastors and public perception of what makes a good minister. A principle stated at the beginning of the book is that we should learn from the example…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Last Valley: A story of God’s grace in terminal illness

In touching detail, Graham Heaps reflects on the terminal illness and subsequent death of his late wife Sue in 2015. It is by no means an enjoyable read, but it bears splendid testimony to the goodness and grace of God…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Out of the Black Shadows
Stephen Lungu

In this superbly written and compelling book, Anne Coomes artfully tells the story of Stephen Lungu. It is an explosive story of God’s power at work in the darkest of situations. I challenge you to read it and remain unconvinced…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Fruitful Home: Creating a gospel culture for family life
Ann Benton

As Christians, we long to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6); and in The Fruitful Home, Ann Benton helpfully and practically gives us solid biblical advice on how to go about this intentionally. In a…