Jeff Vanderstelt, Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015). Vanderstelt wants to help Christians see that worship and discipleship are inseparable from Christians' lives.
Author: Dayton Hartman
With all the pressing demands of modern ministry, why make time to learn church history? Is it relevant to worship and ministry today? Pastor Dayton Hartman argues that church history is not old news, but a vital component of a healthy ministry. In Church History for Modern Ministry, Hartman explores the importance of church history and shows how an understanding of our past can help us address contemporary issues. The faithfulness, discipleship, and perseverance of the early church can help today's church stand firm in times of change. "Hartman gives us an enjoyable, readable, and trustworthy book in Church History for Modern Ministry that helps us see the theological and ministerial value of studying our history. If you're a pastor, you need to know church history--not just for doctrinal clarity and sermon illustrations, but also for your own spiritual nourishment. I will be pointing pastors and aspiring pastors to this book for years to come." --Tony Merida, founding pastor, Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, NC For many evangelicals, church history jumps from the book of Acts, has a brief stopover in the Protestant Reformation, and picks up in the present day. In Church History for Modern Ministry, Hartman corrects our dangerous a-historical view by mining the rich history of our faith. I'll be recommending this to pastors and parishioners alike. It's a great way for them to meet the family they never knew they had! --Drew Dyck, managing editor, Leadership Journal; author, Yawning at Tigers: You Can't Tame God, So Stop Trying It seems to me that 95 percent of the stupid things we do as pastors could be avoided if we knew a little church history. I am very happy that Dayton Hartman has written this book. As both a practicing pastor and a practicing church historian, he is well poised to bring the insights of our forefathers to bear on the day-to-day issues that confront church leaders. That Church History for Modern Ministry is both short and snarky is an added bonus! --Mike McKinley, author; contributor and speaker, 9Marks; senior pastor, Sterling Park Baptist Church (Sterling, VA) In this helpful book Hartman shows pastors why we should appreciate church history. Every generation of Christians and pastors stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before. The lessons that God taught our forebears can be very useful for ministry today. Hartman helps us see how this is so, and also provides practical suggestions for introducing historical insights into congregational life. I recommend this book for pastors as well as other church leaders. --Tom Ascol, PhD; executive director, Founders Ministries Christians in America today--especially evangelicals--suffer from a damaging lack of connection to the 'cloud of witnesses' who have preceded us in Christian history. I am happy to commend Dr. Dayton Hartman's readable introduction to church history for pastors, who will surely be the key players in teaching Christians about the riches of the church's past. --Thomas S. Kidd, PhD; professor of history, Baylor University Over the past decade, I have taught church history to over a thousand seminarians and college students. Many of them have raised questions about whether or not church history is really useful for pastors and other ministers. While I make regular pastoral application in the classroom, I have yet to find a good book to point students to that weds church history and practical ministry. I'm grateful that pastor-historian Dayton Hartman has written this book--it fills an important gap and answers many of the questions my students are asking. I hopeChurch History for Modern Ministry is widely read and leads more pastors and other ministry leaders to mine the depths of Christian history for contemporary spiritual flourishing. --Nathan Finn, PhD; dean of the School of Theology and Missions, Union University All pastors and Christian teachers can greatly benefit from a solid knowledge of church history. And the best place to start is with Dayton Hartman's book Church History for Modern Ministry. This helpful book presents the key content of church history in a clear, concise, and careful manner. Yet the book is also distinct in reflecting careful theological ideas in a readable and sometimes humorous way. I endorse this book and its author to all readers. --Kenneth R. Samples, senior research scholar, Reasons to Believe Church History for Modern Ministry is a lighthearted yet serious look into the value of Christian history for contemporary ministry. Knowing the past helps ministers respond to future events with practical wisdom and theological depth. Hartman frames historical and theological developments with the expertise of a historian and the disposition of a pastor while introducing us to saints of old along the way. --Walter Strickland II, special advisor to the president for diversity, instructor of theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Cloaked in skinny jeans, coiffed with a faux-hawk and possessed by a sense of humor and engaging style, Dayton Hartman invites his tribe (pastors) to visit the foreign country that is the church's past. An able guide, Hartman gives an introductory tour that will surely inspire his group to visit again and again and to appreciate, value, and dialogue with church history as they press on to lead the people of God today. --Edward L. Smither, PhD; dean of the College of Intercultural Studies, Columbia International University; author of Augustine as Mentor This book is like most of my favorite books: short, enjoyable, and surprisingly practical! Hartman has provided an easy-to-read primer on the need and relevance of church history for our modern-day ministry. This book is anything but dry, and Hartman writes in a way that is relatable, refreshingly accessible, and immediately helpful. I was challenged by my own distance from the church of the past and encouraged to close that gap as a result of this work. Read it, enjoy it, and put these exhortations to use for the glory of God and the good of His church! --Brian Davis, hip-hop artist (God's Servant), Lamp Mode Recordings; pastor/church planter, Risen Christ Fellowship (Philadelphia, PA)