1. If you are a young or aspiring pastor and/or elder, you need to get pastor Brian Croft’s Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness (Day One, 2008). I first heard about this book from my friend Adam Embry, and recently read through it. It is highly valuable as a practical resource for visitation grounded in the rich theology of Scripture.
To give just a couple of examples, I found sections like that on having “fresh breath” of great help (53). I’m not sure I would have remembered how important this is to a suffering person without the counsel of this wise, godly shepherd. Also, Croft recommends leaving a note for people we happen to miss, noting that the sufferer “can read these notes over and over again for their encouragement long after you have gone.” (45) Amen–this is as thoughtful as it is kind.
Seminarian, pastor, deacon, Christian–get this little book, soak up its wisdom, and live out its mission. I certainly intend to before I visit the sick and am thus quite thankful for it.
2. This Southern Seminary conference on how Southern ties in to American Christianity looks excellent. I am planning on being in Louisville on February 18-19, and I hope you will as well. There is a TEDS contingent making the trek for this notable conference, which includes eminent historians like Grant Wacker of Duke (soon to publish an essential Graham biography), D. G. Hart (confessionalist and Machen expert), and Stephen Nichols (readable, prolific Americanist). The conference is inexpensive
and jam-packed with provocative topics.
–Have a great weekend, all.