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An able and faithful ministry

By James M. Garretson
October 2014 | Review by Paul Brown
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-60178-298-4
  • Pages: 428
  • Price: 4.91
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Book Review

An able and faithful ministry: Samuel Miller and the pastoral office

James M. Garretson
Reformation Heritage Books, 428 pages, £13.62, ISBN: 978-1-60178-298-4
Star rating: 5

This is a great book in several senses. It is large and beautifully produced; a pleasure to hold and read. It is partly biographical, its subject being Samuel Miller, the second professor appointed to the infant Princeton Theological Seminary. Its main concern is the theology of preaching and pastoral ministry that Miller gave his students.

This combination is brilliant. Here we have most valuable teaching, set in the context of a life committed to Jesus Christ, his church and its ministry.

We learn a great deal about Miller: his devotion, forbearance, priorities, love and concern, both for his students and for the glory of his Lord. James Garretson has thereby successfully enabled Miller to minister to a whole new generation of preachers.

The book is especially designed for those preparing for gospel ministry, and it will also be particularly helpful for those in the early days of ministering.

Miller was a Presbyterian who began his teaching ministry almost 200 years ago in the United States, so allowance must be made for contextualisation. However, anyone thinking Miller’s teaching would be unsuitable for today’s ministry would be seriously mistaken.

There is nothing startlingly divergent about his teaching, but there is a thoroughness and simple wisdom in what he says. He had great belief in the power of God’s Word and in its ability to work within the souls of its hearers. One chapter is entitled ‘Spiritual weapons for a spiritual battle’, which is a theme worthy of note in these days.

I doubt if there is any preacher who would not benefit from a careful reading of this book. It is indeed full of wise guidance, grounded in the Word of God.

Paul Brown
Halton, Lancaster





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