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Keeping Christ in Ministry by John Harbison

Book Cover

Keeping Christ in Ministry

Dr Harbison’s Keeping Christ in Ministry explores the concept that the basis of Christian ministry is Christ himself and therefore contemporary ministers must pay attention to how their work is bound up in Christ’s work.

Some of the ministries identified are commonly recognised in current practice, such as prophet and teacher. Other choices though are less obvious, such as “Jesus the Light” or “Jesus the Immanuel”. However, these are the riches of the book. For example, Harbinson’s summary of “Immanuel ministry” is that Christ was God with us and we follow in his train by representing God to those around us. Each chapter in the bulk of the book follows a similar pattern and it can feel a touch repetitive at times; perhaps the answer is to treat it as a resource to meditate on over time rather than (in reviewer mode) a work to read from cover to cover as quickly as possible?

It is worth noting that the ebook edition I reviewed was greatly extended by two sets of supplementary material. The first was three chapters from another book by the same publisher (John Bornschein’s The Front Line: A Prayer Warrior’s Guide to Spiritual Battle); the second was the text of every Bible reference given in the book. Bonus material is a nice idea but these account for half the length of the volume, which means your ereader is burdened with a volume that takes twice as much space as it needs to. A single page with links to two free downloads would have been a more medium-friendly approach. I would give Harbison’s content a 4/5 rating but this encumbered edition only 3/5.

6 February, 2013 by Wulf Forrester-BarkerBook Review

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