More on the ministry of the Word
On difficult ministry to people
"If you are going into the ministry for a comfortable seat, and to fulfill yourself, rear a happy family, gather a happy congregation around you and end up with a nice plaque... for your 'gracious ministry,' but nothing more, then you will long since have ceased to listen to me" (99)
"We must not live in the world of books, but in the world of real people. Yet, all that is worth saying to them of lasting value comes from books.... the end is never propositions... but a certain kind of flesh and blood" (101-2).
"I am not saying that the Spirit never acts directly through the Word alone [without people]. But it is not normally His way. God respects humanity, especially the new humanity He has created in Jesus Christ, and seeks no other than His church to do His work" (119).
"[Avoid] the danger... of falling... into the archaic past or [into]... futile 'with-it'-ness" (102).
"There are two dangers.... being so preoccupied with soundness in the truth... that we go all academic and dead.... The other danger is that we go all activist... constantly stirring the pot of emotionalism to boiling point" (113).
On confronting evil
"As we look out, then, upon the wickedness of the day, we will not panic, or fear. Nor will we be complacent.... There is an application of the Word of God for even the most urgent contemporary situations, but if we get all hot and bothered about it, and myopicaly concentrate all our ministry on that, forever moaning from our pulpits about the evils of the day, what are the hungry sheep going to feed upon the while? The devil is a master of sidetrack" (104, 107).
On feeding sheep
"A shepherd is no mere warder-off of wild beasts.... What is the good of being saved to starve?... We must be fed" (112).