John Owen on Pastoral Fervency

I am in Boca Raton this week teaching a J-term for Reformed Theological Seminary and have had no time to post. I hope to get back on schedule next week.

A friend pointed me to this quote John Owen on a pastor’s inner life and attitude. It is rich, and convicting. It comes from his Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (vol. 5, 195).

I say, without this earnest and fervent desire after the profiting and salvation of our people, we shall have a cold and ineffectual ministry among them. Neither is it our sedulity or earnestness in preaching that will relieve us, if that be absent. And this desire proceeds from three principles; and that which pretends thereto, and doth not so, is but an image and counterfeit of it. And these are, (1.) Zeal for the glory of God in Christ; (2.) Real compassion for the souls of men; (3.) An especial conscientious regard unto our duty and office, with respect unto its nature, trust, end, and reward. These are the principles that both kindle and supply fuel unto those fervent desires for the good of our people which oil the wheels of all other duties, and speed them in their course.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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