Lessons in ministry from the life of Thomas Boston #5: Spend time in the study


This is the fifth in a series of five posts on lessons for ministry from the life and times of Thomas Boston.

Lesson #5 – spend time in the study There is a simple and unalterable rule in ministry: there are always more needs than I have time to meet them all. There is a second simple rule: time in the study is time well spent as there is no other way to know God and so make him known. Thomas Boston was a scholar and the needs of his people were ultimately met through his preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ:

we see him seated at his desk with his English and Hebrew bible and Greek New Testament within easy reach, and his library, now of considerable size, surrounding him on every side. It has increased so slowly that he knows every volume, not only by its title-page, but by its contents… On the table there is a large manuscript volume, entitled “Miscallenea”, which bears the mark of much handling, in which was written from time to time questions on difficult points in theology, some of which he has already succeeded in solving, while others are held in reserve…

Reading theology is not the same as wrestling with difficult questions.  If ministers of God’s word want to teach from heart and mind, we need to read and wrestle.  This takes time but will, in time, meet the needs of those we minister to.

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One Response to Lessons in ministry from the life of Thomas Boston #5: Spend time in the study

  1. andyharker says:

    Thanks for this. Great reminder. I find it very easy for the study not to be a place of… study. Would that I did less phoning and fiddling and frittering and more reading and wrestling.

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