Pastor As Author

February 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree
Under The Elmtree
In This Issue:
* Pastor As Author

* On-line Coaching & Consulting

* Was Adam The First Man? Does it matter?

* Partnership – Founders & IUS

* Leadership Resources – Imputation of Adam’s Sin

* Leadership Insights from the “Fly on The Wall” – I Can’t Write!

* Metrics In Ministry – Read the BLOG

* eStore on The Web

* In the Next Issue – Prayer & Effective Ministry

The Pastor As Author

Intro.: I requested an article from Dr. Jack Williamson, pastor of First Baptist in Ridgeway SC on the topic of writing. Jack has authored a number of books during his tenure as Pastor (a list of those titles follows this article). In spite of the ‘pen hits the paper’ reference, Jack does not write with an ink well and a quill! Writing is a wonderful way to expand the impact of the gospel. I encourage my readers to embrace this challenging and fruitful avenue of ministry. Notice the persistent production of Dr. Williamson’s work – persistence is a must for a writer. Caution – in this digital age what you write is out there for others to critique – forever!!

Tips on Writing from Dr. Jack Williamson, Pastor FBC Ridgeway SC

Before the pen hits the paper, ask yourself, “Who’s going to read this?” The answer to that question should have an enormous influence on what you write and how you write it. It will also affect the development of your theme, the vocabulary you use, and the application and conclusions of your piece.

Am I composing this for fellow pastors who will be familiar with the theological terms I use? Or, am I writing for laymen, in which case, I may have to incorporate definitions and references explaining those terms. Is this a piece that will be read by people from my generation, or for a younger or older audience?
Are the readers likely to be in agreement with me or opposed to my views and conclusions? This will govern the work’s construction. If you perceive the audience as friendly, you can mention the theme throughout the entire project, but if the audience is hostile to your argument, you should save the conclusion until the very end. Let the hostile reader follow your thinking before he or she reads your conclusions.
As you consider the potential audience, consider the purpose of your writing. Am I defending a particular viewpoint that has been challenged by another author? Am I attempting to persuade others to my point of view, or am I simply educating people of details and ideas that they might not already know?
The old adage is especially important in writing: “Plan your work and work your plan.”
Titles by Dr. Jack Williamson:
God’s Fluttering Servants—The Biblical Story of Angels
ISBN 978-1-4560-6524-9 (2011)
Heaven’s Area Code—A Theology of Prayer
ISBN 978-1-61582-938-5 (2010)
L of the Tulip—A Case for Particular Redemption
ISBN 1-60813-293-5 (2009)
Sin in the Assembly—A Guide for Local Baptist Church Discipline
ISBN 1-60441-178-3 (2007)
Seven Basic and Brief Pointers for Writers
Lit Crit – Literary Notes
Written by Douglas Wilson
Monday, 05 April 2010
In no particular order of importance, I would encourage those who want to learn the wordriht life to approximate something like the following:
1. Know something about the world, and by this I mean the world outside of books. This might require joining the Marines, or working on an oil rig, or as a hashslinger at a truck stop in Kentucky. Know what things smell like out there.
2. Read. Read constantly. Read the kind of stuff you wish you could write. Read until your brain creaks. Tolkien said that his ideas sprang up from the leaf mold of his mind. These are the trees where the leaves come from.
3. Read mechanical helps. By this I mean dictionaries, etymological histories, books of anecdotes, dictionaries of foreign phrases, books of quotations, books on how to write dialog, and so on. The plot will usually fail to grip, so just read a page a day. If you think it makes you out to be too much of a word-dork, then don’t tell anybody about it.
4. Stretch before your routines. If you want to write short stories, try to write Italian sonnets. If you want to write a novel, write a few essays. If you want to write opinion pieces for the Washington Post, then limber up with haiku.
5. Be at peace with being lousy for a while. Chesterton once said that anything worth doing was worth doing badly. He was right. Only an insufferable egoist expects to be brilliant first time out.
6. Learn other languages, preferably languages that are upstream from ours. This would include Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon. The brain is not a shoebox that “gets full,” but is rather a muscle that expands its capacity with increased use. The more you know the more you can know. The more you can do with words, the more you can do. As it turns out.
7. Keep a commonplace book. Write down any notable phrases that occur to you, or that you have come across. If it is one that you have found in another writer, and it is striking, then quote it, as the fellow said, or modify it to make it yours. If Chandler said that a guy had a cleft chin you could hide a marble in, that should come in useful sometime. If Wodehouse said somebody had an accent you could turn handsprings on, then he might have been talking about Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Tinker with stuff. Get your fingerprints on it.
Know when to stop.
Follow this link to John Hodgman’s “Advice to Writers.”
After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: “Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.” The eternal value of their work gives Christian writers further reason to heed an adaptation of Michelangelo’s words: “Write — and do not waste time.”
Follow this link to a helpful article on Justin Taylor’s BLOG on writing clearly and coherently. This also points the reader to a “Writer’s Conference in April in Orlando FL.
TCF’s personal basic tools for writing well:
1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
2. Wordsmithy – Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson
3. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Write On!

* On line Coaching & Consulting

Most, nearly all, Pastors are looking for helpful ministry resources and sound counsel. Thanks to God’s Providence and modern technology, this is now available. IgniteUS uses Video Conferencing. This enables us to speak with you Face2Face. We provide references that connect you with other Pastors who have engaged the process. They serve as our most effective and powerful promotion tool.You may choose the level of service you desire. You may sign up for one hour or a year etc. as you choose. The normal frequency is a 30 minute call twice a month. Prior to the call you send us an email detailing the issues you want us to address. There is no cost to learn more about this beneficial and economical approach to seeing God make the ministry where you serve Healthy & Effective. Give us a call 1 800 472 3764 or You will be glad you did!

* Was Adam The First Man? Does it matter?

Publisher’s Description:

Denying the historicity of Adam has become increasingly present within evangelical circles.
Was Adam the first historical man?
Does the answer really matter?
And, does it affect any important doctrines in the Bible?
Carefully examining key passages of Scripture, Versteeg proves that all human beings descended from Adam, the first man. He argues that if this is not true, the entire history of redemption documented in Scripture unravels and we have no gospel in any meaningful sense.
This issue has been front and center for several years. It does matter and every pastor must know why. This title provides credible evidence for the historical Adam. (tcf)
Adam in the New Testament: Mere Teaching Model or First Historical Man? by J.P. Versteeg.
A number of theologians have postulated that Adam is a ‘teaching model’ in the
New Testament. Versteeg’s remarkably cogent and concise book tells us why
this view is impossible. (John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology
and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary)
Coming Publication: Four Views of the Historicity of Adam – Zondervan; to be published in time for ETS/IBR/SBL conferences in November. Four essayists: Denis Lamoreux (evolution, no historic Adam), John Walton (archetypal Adam, no need for historic Adam), C. John Collins (old earth creation, definite historic Adam), William Barrick (young earth creation, definite historic Adam).

Partnership – Founders & IUS

IgniteUS is pleased to announce a ministry partnership with Founders Ministries. Go to our Home Page ( and click on the “Partners” page for a brief description of this shared endeavor to see God bring Reformation & Renewal to the church in America. Founder’s Home Page is ( You will find helpful resources at both sites!

Study Preaching and Preachers with Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This was the first course we offered back in 2003. It is rich and refreshing source of insight for all who desire to faithfully proclaim God’s Word. A 16-week course beginning February 4, 2013. The course material is downloaded to your ipad, computer, etc. when you register. Go to and click on the Study Center. This course will help you become a better ‘Expositional Leader’.

* Leadership Resources – Imputation of Adam’s Sin by John Murray

The historical orthodox evangelical doctrinal position has been and is that mankind inherited both a sin nature and guilt, God’s judgment, as a result of Adam’s disobedience. There are some today who accept the fact of our inheriting a sin nature but loudly deny that we inherit Adam’s guilt. Read Murray and follow the link for a systematic examination of this question.

Leadership Insights from the”Fly on the Wall“- “I Can’t Write”

I started my formal education at age 27. One of my first Professors was Dr. James Murray Grier. He died on January 12, 2013. He had and continues to have a profound influence on my life and ministry. Why? He taught me to think Theistically, to think God’s thoughts after Him. He modeled a joyful scholarship. He was highly academic and at the same time intensely practical in what he taught, preached and wrote.

I recall a student complaining to him and saying “I Can’t Write”. Jim said with genuine compassion and honest integrity – – ‘You can’t write because you can’t think!’ So true. When we think properly we can deliver those thoughts in written form. Jim followed me in one of the pastorates I was privileged to hold. He served for two years in that role.

This is a well deserved tribute to my brother, friend and mentor. He taught me to think. If you want to write well, learn to think well. Thank you Jim. The “Olde Pilgrim” has reached the celestial city whose builder and maker is God!.

?* Metrics In Ministry – Read the BLOG (

Do you know what a disciple is? Can you measure the transformation of the people and congregation you serve? This article will get you started down this road to true spiritual health and effectiveness.

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