Hero 2015: The Penning Pastor

Newton_jI don’t believe the Bible is a book of heroes. The Bible does have heroes in it, but that is not what it is about. It is a book about the Hero. Nonetheless, I do believe in having heroes, and I believe it is Biblical to have them.

Heroes are not perfect, and thus they point us to Christ in three ways. Their faults (weaknesses and sins) point us to the Savior that they, and we, all need. With this foundation we learn two further truths concerning their strengths. First, they are a result of God’s gifting and working in them such that He gets all the glory. Second, their strengths also point us to Jesus by whom they are graded – Jesus is the ultimate curve breaker. All heroes are judged in relation to Him.

Every year I single out one hero to study in particular. This year I will study the life and works of John Newton.

Newton is no doubt best known for being the writer of the most beloved English hymn “Amazing Grace.” He was born July 25, 1725 and died December 21, 1807. He pastored two churches. One in Olney for 15 years and one in London for 27 years.

Newton’s life is remarkable, but what I am most looking forward to studying are his pastoral letters. I have the older and beautiful six volume edition of his works published by Banner of Truth (I believe they are working on a new reformatted four volume version). Volumes 1, 2, 5, 6 are significantly comprised of these letters. I pray and hope his pastoral wisdom, counsel, and care of souls will both minister to me and help me to better minister to others.

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