References to: You're Included

Andrew Purves: Theology for Pastoral Work

Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves: Theology for Pastoral Work

A pastor should connect the story of God with the context of individual people, so the pastor needs to be tightly connected to God and the people.

(31.2 minutes)
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Biography:
Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves received his PhD in 1978 from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has been a church pastor and a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. For a PDF of all four interviews, click here. He has written numerous books on pastoral theology, including The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry, Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry, & The Resurrection of Ministry.

Learn More:

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If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. Why is a pastor’s “life in Christ” so critical to an effective ministry?

2. What did the phrase “organically connected” mean to you in terms of relationships?

3. How can personal prayer, worship, and ethical attentiveness enhance one’s ministry?

4. What was meant by pastors being “embedded” in the lives of their people?

5. How is the example of Jesus seizing Peter’s hand on the water relevant to your life?

6. Why should we respond to God out of thankfulness instead of guilt and fear?

7. How is God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness a “larger reality” than his judgment?

8. Expand on Dr. Purves’ contention that God’s “grace overflows.”

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

J. Michael Feazell: In your book, The Crucifixion of Ministry, on page 128, you wrote, “At its core, pastoral work involves bearing witness to the joining of two stories, the parishioners and God’s. Who is Jesus Christ specifically for this person amid the particularities and the exigencies of his or her current life experience?”

How does a pastor bring those two stories together?

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Cherith Fee Nordling: What Jesus' Humanity Means for Us

Cherith Fee Nordling

Cherith Fee Nordling: What Jesus' Humanity Means for Us

Jesus is truly human, and that shows us what it means for us to be truly human.

(30.6 minutes)
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Biography:
Cherith Fee Nordling

Cherith Fee Nordling earned her PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She has written Knowing and Naming the Triune God: Elizabeth Johnson and Karl Barth in Conversation and she is one of the authors of Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. She is now Associate Professor of Theology at Northern Seminary. For all four interviews in one PDF file, click here.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. Why is it so critical for a believer to think through the implications of who Jesus really is?

2. The humanity of Jesus was emphasized in the interview. Why does this actually matter?

3. What does Dr. Nordling’s term, “whole person” mean to you?

4. Can you think of some ways that you have tried to “negate” your own true humanity?

5. In what ways can we serve to “personalize” rather than “objectify” other people?

6. How do you understand God’s incarnation as “healing” the human condition? 

7. What was meant by Cherith’s statement, “We have been called to practice resurrection (life)”?

8. Cite specific examples of how we participate in God’s “new creation” in our daily lives.

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

JMF: You’re working on two books in the final stages of production. Could you tell us about the second one?

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Paul Louis Metzger: Christians Engaging Contemporary Culture

Paul Louis Metzger

Paul Louis Metzger: Christians Engaging Contemporary Culture

Converted Christians will be led by the Holy Spirit to care for others, reflecting our communion within the Triune God.

(33.2 minutes)
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Biography:
Paul Louis Metzger

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. For a PDF of all four interviews, click here. He is author of Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church,
The Word of Christ and the Word of Culture: Sacred and Secular Through the Theology of Karl Barth,
and
Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. What does “practical theology” mean to you?

2. In what ways can we become more “relational” and “communal” in our Christian walk?

3. How can a Trinitarian perspective improve one’s view toward minorities and the poor?

4. How do you understand Dr. Metzger’s concept, “beyond moralism”?

5. How can we give and serve out of gratitude instead of guilt or obligation?

6. How can we become more “missional” in our personal evangelism?

7. Briefly, share some of your thoughts on “cultural Christianity.”

8. How does fear cause some believers to adopt an antagonistic approach toward society?

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

J. Michael Feazell: Thanks for joining us on another edition of You’re Included, the unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology. We’re talking to Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture at Multnomah biblical Seminary of Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Metzger is editor of Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology and Cultural Encounter, a journal for the theology of culture.

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Steve McVey: The Grace Walk

Steve McVey

Steve McVey: The Grace Walk

Steve McVey talks about the way Christians live -- trusting in the grace of Christ.

(32.6 minutes)
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Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. What are some of the ways believers “focus on performance” in their Christian walk?

2. How can Western culture’s “wired to succeed” mentality affect our spiritual lives?

3. Why do we need to see biblical commands through the “unfiltered” lens of a renewed mind?

4. What are your thoughts on “the Christian life is not hard—it’s impossible”?

5. How can surrendering ourselves totally to Christ unburden us spiritually?

6. What do you think was meant by “the way we see God, our theology, is everything”?

7. How did “the Bible isn’t about morality and issues of right or wrong” impact you?

8. What does “the spirit of Christ ‘breathes’ for us” mean to you personally?

A few guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

Michael Morrison: Steve, thanks for being with us today.

Steve McVey: Thanks, Mike. Glad to be here.

MM: Steve, you’ve written a book called Grace Walk. It’s sold quite a few copies now, and in the book you describe the story of how you came to an understanding of grace, and I wondered if we could start today by rehearsing that story as to what motivated you to write this book.

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David Torrance: The Grace of the Finished Work of Christ

David Torrance

David Torrance: The Grace of the Finished Work of Christ

Rev. David Torrance shares his thoughts about the sheer outpouring of God's love granting us grace by the finished work of Christ, and our thankful response to that.

(32.8 minutes)
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Biography:
David Torrance

David Torrance served for 36 years in parish ministry in the Church of Scotland; he is the brother of theologians Thomas and James Torrance. He helped edit the English edition of Calvin's New Testament commentaries, and is a co-author of A Passion for Christ: Vision That Ignites Ministry. His website is at www.livebyfaith.org.uk. For a transcript of all five YI interviews, click here.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

For an edited transcript of our interviews with David Torrance, click here.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics: 

1. How does keeping focused on Christ make our spiritual journey a joy rather than a burden?

2. What does “I have come that they might have life” mean to you?

3. What is meant by “God does everything for us; all we can do is accept it in thanksgiving”?

4. How do we participate in proclaiming Christ to the world? 

5. Why is total surrender on our part so important? 

6. How do you understand “when Christ died and rose, we died and rose”?

7. How would you describe “conditional repentance”?

8. How have you experienced forgiveness as a gift of God? 

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

Michael Morrison: David, it’s a pleasure to have you here.

David Torrance: Thank you. It’s a privilege to be here.

MM: I’d like to begin by finding out who you are. I associate the name Torrance with Thomas and James, and you’re the third brother?

DT: The third brother. Yes. The youngest.

MM: You have all studied theology and written on theology.

DT: My brothers have. I…rather more modestly, I’ll put it that way.

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Gary Deddo: Participation in Christ

Gary Deddo

Gary Deddo: Participation in Christ

Dr. Deddo talks about our sharing with God in his purposes of calling people to him and our transformation.

(27.4 minutes)
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Biography:
Gary Deddo

Dr. Gary Deddo works for Grace Communion International and is president of Grace Communion Seminary. He earned his PhD at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland under Professor James Torrance. He is Founding President of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, and author of numerous articles and books, including Karl Barth’s Theology of Relations and George McDonald: The Devotional Guide to His Writing. Click here for articles by Gary Deddo.

Learn More:

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If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Group Study Guide

Dr. Gary Deddo: You’re Included Interview on Participation in Christ

Discussion

1. What title would you give this program, and why?

2. What is “union with Christ”?

3. How is our union with Christ already an accomplished fact?

4. How do we “participate” in Christ?

5. What other words could we use to describe this participation?

6. How does participation in Christ affect our relationships with other people?

7. Whose job is our sanctification? Why does that matter?

8. What was the most meaningful part of Dr. Deddo’s interview for you?

 

If you'd like to donate to help support this ministry, click here.

Michael Morrison: I’ve heard theologians talk about how we participate with God in his life. Can you tell me more about how we, as human beings, participate in God, who seems so unlike us?

GD: That word is of great interest to me. Especially in the New Testament, that word that we translate “participate” can also be translated “sharing” or “partnership” or “being together with.” Some people know the Greek word: “koinōnia.” Our fellowship, our communion, our participation, that relates all to the same reality.

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C. Baxter Kruger: Who Are We in Jesus Christ?

C. Baxter Kruger

C. Baxter Kruger: Who Are We in Jesus Christ?

The Western world has two views of God: a harsh and unapproachable God, and a Jesus who came to save us from the harsh God. But the Father is actually just like Jesus.

(30.8 minutes)
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Biography:
C. Baxter Kruger

Dr. C. Baxter Kruger is the founder and the president of Perichoresis, Inc. and of Mediator Lures. He obtained his doctorate working with James Torrance in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is author of
     The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited
     Jesus and the Undoing of Adam
     God Is For Us
     Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness
     The Shack Revisited

For a PDF of our all interviews with Dr. Kruger, click here.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.


For a PDF of all the edited transcripts of our interviews with Dr. Kruger, click here.

Group Study Guide

Overview

C.S. Lewis’s character, Mrs. Fidget, illustrates what happens when we don’t know our identity – when we don’t know that we are accepted, included and special to Jesus. We invent self-salvation schemes looking for worth, but it’s an illusion that destroys relationships because we try to impose our vision and agenda upon God and others.

The world has two vastly different doctrines of God. One is from Greek philosophy where God is detached, indifferent and unapproachable, yet he wants his rules kept. That view of God leads to the wrong-headed notion of penal substitution, meaning that Jesus suffers God’s wrath intended for us.

The other view of God is of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have set their love upon us since before the foundation of the world. It is of the Father who sends his Son to become what we are, because they have decided that they are going to give us a place in their relationship – a relationship as God’s adopted children.

Christianity is about walking with Jesus. It’s about being interested in what he’s doing and what he wants--more than we are about what we want.

Discussion

1. How did Mrs. Fidget hurt her family relationships?

2. What does it mean to you that God set his love upon you before the foundation of the world?

3. What is the significance of Jesus coming to share in “what we are”—in humanity and human nature?

4. How do we most effectively talk with others about Jesus?

5. What do you think of Dr. Kruger’s definition of a Christian?

6. For you, what was the most meaningful part of this interview?

Grace Communion International presents You’re Included – the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our host is Dr. J Michael Feazell.

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Gordon Fee: How Should We Read the Bible?

Gordon Fee

Gordon Fee: How Should We Read the Bible?

Dr. Fee discusses common mistakes in the way that people read the Bible.

(29.7 minutes)
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Biography:
Gordon D. Fee

Dr. Gordon Fee is emeritus professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For a PDF of all three interviews, click here. Among his many publications are
     How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (co-authored with Douglas Stuart; now in its fourth edition)
     How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth (co-authored with Mark Strauss)

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Group Study Guide

Overview

Since the beginning of the church, there has been much disagreement about how to interpret the Bible. In response to that, Dr. Gordon Fee has done much work in helping Christians with basic principles of rightly understanding what the Scriptures say. Biblical books need to be read and understood in their entirety and in light of the type of literature they are. Poetry needs to be read as poetry, narratives as narratives, and epistles as letters.

Fictitious stories such as some of the parables can be the most effective way to communicate truth.

Literal biblical translations that seek to keep the structure of the original language are not the best translations. Translations into English as it is currently spoken are the best translations.

Discussion

1. What does Fee mean by “every verse a paragraph”?

2. How does “every verse a paragraph” hurt our ability to effectively read the Bible?

3. Discuss the advisability of reading the Bible like we’d read anything else.

4. Are the verse designations divinely inspired?

5. Were the verse designations in the original biblical texts?

6. How were the books of the Bible intended to be read?

7. In your own words, how does one best “read” a book of the Bible?

8. Can fictitious stories communicate truth?

9. Fee used the term “Greeklish” to describe what?

10. Are literal translations the best translations?

11. What’s the best way to translate Hebrew and Greek texts for our deepest understanding?

12. For you, what was the most meaningful part of Dr. Fee’s interview?

J. Michael Feazell: Welcome to You’re Included, the unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology. Christians the world over look to the Bible as their guide to faith and practice. Yet from the inception of the church, there has been much disagreement over how to interpret what the Scriptures say. Our guest today, Dr. Gordon Fee, has done much work in helping Christians with basic principles of rightly understanding the Bible. Dr.

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Jeff McSwain: Are We Sinners, or Saints?

Jeff McSwain

Jeff McSwain: Are We Sinners, or Saints?

If we are a new creation, why do we still have old habits? Jeff McSwain talks about sanctification, and how Christ transforms us.

(31.8 minutes)
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Biography:
Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

For an edited transcript of all six of our interviews with Jeff McSwain, click here.

Group Study Guide

Overview

As Christians, we struggle with the fact that, though we are new creations in Christ, we still sin. In Jesus Christ we have a perspective that will help us deal with that struggle. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us and in doing so, he was simultaneously God and sin. Our deepest reality, that we are already adopted children of God, frees us to live in God’s tremendous grace, admitting our sin and motivated to do good works. Further, seeing the deepest reality of other sinners, that they are also children of God, now gives us the correct base from which to deal with them.

Discussion

  1. Have you ever felt the struggle between being a new creation in Christ and a sinner?
  2.  Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. According to this passage, how many people are implicated in the death and resurrection of Christ?
  3. Jeff McSwain said that Jesus being 100% God became 100% sin “leaving nothing untouched, with no residue of sin that was not touched.” Discuss what that means.
  4. In what way are we children of God?
  5. What percentage “there” are we as adopted children of God?
  6. In 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, what does it mean that from now on we look at no one from a human point of view?
  7. With 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 in mind, what does it mean to look at other human beings from a Christ-centered perspective?
  8. God never says “Yes” to sin. How is it we can say that?
  9. What does it mean that there is an accountability to grace?
  10. Karl Barth said that God’s “No” to us exists inside of his larger “Yes” to us. What does that tell you about God?
  11. Why should we focus on the “already” rather than the “not yet” in the concept of our “already but not yet” inclusion in God’s family?
  12. For you, what was the most meaningful part of Jeff McSwain’s interview?


For our other interviews with Jeff McSwain, click on his name below.

J. Michael Feazell: Welcome to You’re Included, the unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology. Our guest today is Jeff McSwain, founder of Reality Ministries of Durham, North Carolina. Jeff earned his Master of Theology degree studying with Alan and J. B. Torrance at St. Andrews University in Scotland. His passion is to combine sound theological teaching with the everyday practice of youth ministry.

Jeff, thanks for joining us.

Jeff McSwain: Great to be here, Mike. Thank you.

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Andrew Purves: What on Earth Is Jesus Doing?

Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves: What on Earth Is Jesus Doing?

Andrew Purves discusses the primary pastoral question: What is Jesus up to that I can bear witness to?

(32.5 minutes)
Program download options:
Biography:
Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves received his PhD in 1978 from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has been a church pastor and a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. For a PDF of all four interviews, click here. He has written numerous books on pastoral theology, including The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry, Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry, & The Resurrection of Ministry.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Group Study Guide

Overview

That which makes us Christian is Jesus Christ. He is a present, living, reigning Lord acting in the freedom of his love and the power of the Holy Spirit, who is up to God’s ministry in every aspect of the life of the cosmos. That’s what it means to be Lord, hence the question: “What is Jesus up to that I can bear witness to – whatever the context – to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord at this point of connection or intersection in your life?”

Discussion

  1. Why is it important to be grounded in the reality of what Jesus has done for us?
  2. What are the implications that Jesus is Lord of every aspect of the cosmos?
  3. What is the “Christological starting point” Dr. Purves talked about?
  4. What was the Incarnation all about?
  5. Acts 9:1-20 recounts how the ascended Lord unilaterally encountered Saul. Discuss what happened here. What was Saul’s response?
  6. How has Jesus unilaterally encountered you? What’s been your response?
  7. What three things does Calvin’s doctrine of the Ascension tell us Jesus is doing?
  8. What are the resources that Dr. Purves mentioned when dealing with others in a pastoral (or ministerial) role?
  9. What three things did Purves say needed to be done to use those resources?
  10. Discuss the God you know today and compare him to how you viewed him ten years ago.
  11. What is it about Jesus Christ that most moves you?
  12. What, for you, was the most meaningful part of Dr. Purves’ interview?

Introduction: Today’s guest is Dr. Andrew Purves, Professor of Reformed Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Dr. Purves is author of numerous books, including Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology, The Crucifixion of Ministry, and The Resurrection of Ministry.

J. Michael Feazell: Thanks for joining us.

Andrew Purves: You’re welcome.

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