Review of Richard John Neuhaus’ Freedom for Ministry


By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Neuhaus divides this chapter into three parts. The first two will be included in this report. The first concerns the religious situation the Church finds itself in at present. The second shows the many ways in which the minister is not a professional. He argues that the Church and its ministers are necessarily awkward ambassadors of a “disputed sovereignty.” We claim that Christ has come and that Christ is Lord. Yet he is not fully Lord until the end of time. So our claim is open to dispute. This affects everything we do.

As we discuss counseling, psychology, community, and ministerial success.

As the minister leads worship, considers art, discipline and preaching.

“Whom you would change you must first love.” 16

“Many Christian ministries have a crippling preoccupation with guilt.” 22

“The church is not to be confused with the Kingdom of God. “ 23

“The disappointment, discontent, and frustration the world feels over its distance from perfection is also ours.”

“We should not feel bad about not being the NT church. 34

“The more a pastor affirms and celebrates the importance of lay ministries, the more is his own status  and influence likely to increase.”

“The tensions of the [various denominations] must be kept in play to enrich our particularity and that of others.” 45

“Pluralism among churches is necessary; may be the necessary check to prevent any one from confusing it with the kingdom of God. The goal is full communion among all Christians.” 51

“The organizations of the Church are in the service of the institution of the Church which points beyond itself to the coming Kingdom.” 54

“Professionalism” 64ff

Our authority is only in him who has called us, the already and not yet King. 69

Reconciliation is for transforming, resignation is for coping. 74

Candidates for ministry. 80

 

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