From the Bookshelf

With a Shepherd’s Heart: Reclaiming the Pastoral Office of Elder By John R. Sittema

Pastors have the privilege and duty of reading scores of books on the subject of church leadership and management. Elders usually don’t have this luxury or time. For this reason alone John Sittema’s book ought to receive a wide distribution among Elders and those who desire to serve. Often, an elder serves without significant training and is left to muddle through somehow. Now, let us hope that those who receive this august responsibility find in their hearts that God has called them to it. In meek humility, let them serve with Rev. Sittema as their companion and teacher. Let them not trust their instincts or the opinions of those who have gone before them. However good those sources may be, they are not to be compared with the Holy Bible and its insistence on giving them the first and final word for their calling. Everywhere we turn churches are failing because of professional ministers and compliant elders who want their pastor to simply “do it.” A strong elder board will solve that problem. Gentlemen, get this book and a strong elder board will emerge.

What We Believe: An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed By Cornelis P. Venema

There have been and always will be fresh resources to explain the Apostles’ Creed. What distinguishes Dr. Venema’s volume is a timeless and less sectarian approach. This birds’ eye view of the faith presents the reader with a brief panorama of our beliefs and how they have been presented, preserved and promoted through history. Venema would have us see that the Reformed faith, by and large, fits well with all streams of Christian history faithful to God’s word. That makes this book an excellent resource for high school study (such as a catechism class), new members in the church, and a first doctrinal guide for teachers. Don’t hesitate to give this book to your pastor: he will read it and enjoy handing it out to those with basic questions about our faith. Don’t hesitate to give it to a teenager: especially if you hope that such a one will find confidence that our faith isn’t just a culture or tradition. One suggestion I have for reading this work: start with reading the study questions, then read the chapters. Christians ought to know the answer to each of these questions! If you don’t yet, you will when you are done.

Available from Reformed Fellowship. See our back cover for ordering details.

  Rev. Zachary Anderson Seventh Reformed Church Grand Rapids, Michigan