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


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Coping with Criticism: Turning pain into blessing
Mostyn Roberts

Have you ever faced criticism and found it painful and difficult to cope with? In this short title, Mostyn Roberts addresses this common problem. The book began as a paper written for a ministers’ fraternal, and was later expanded into…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…