An Updated and Abridged Edition of Richard Baxter’s Classic Text
Originally written in 1656 and endorsed by generations of leading pastors as an essential book on the work of ministry, this abridged version of The Reformed Pastor presents the best of Richard Baxter’s timeless advice in simple, modern language that’s more accessible to a new generation of church leaders.
In inspiring communications to his fellow ministers, Baxter challenged them to pursue teaching and personal pastoral ministry with an exceptional degree of faithfulness. His words were grounded in the apostle Paul’s encouragement to the leaders in Ephesus to “take heed unto yourselves and all the flock.” Baxter’s advice remains relevant today as Christian leaders face both new and age-old challenges in ministry. With this updated, abridged version of The Reformed Pastor, editor Tim Cooper retains Baxter’s passionate message in a modern, simplified style that speaks clearly to today’s Christian leaders.
Table of Contents:
Foreword by Chad Van Dixhoorn
Chapter 1: Take Heed unto Yourselves
Chapter 2: Take Heed unto All the Flock
Chapter 3: The Ministerial Work
Chapter 4: What a Subtle Enemy Is This Sin of Pride!
Chapter 5: Many Things Sadly out of Order
Chapter 6: Reasons Why You Should Take Heed unto All the Flock
Chapter 7: The Greatest Benefits of Our Work
Chapter 8: Many Difficulties We Will Find
Chapter 9: Some May Object
Chapter 10: The Best Directions I Can Give
Appendix 1: The Catechism
Appendix 2: Book Outline
Richard Baxter (1615–1691) was a leading English Puritan churchman, theologian, and writer. He authored nearly 170 works, including Christian Directory; Methodus Theologiae Christianae; and The Saints’ Everlasting Rest.
“The Reformed Pastor, by the preeminent pastor-theologian of the Puritan era, Richard Baxter, is one of the first books I read on the Christian ministry. As a pastor, I need to read and reread this classic. Crossway and Tim Cooper have done a great service to the church in making this updated and abridged volume available to us. May God use this book to save and care for many souls through pastors in his church.” - Mark Jones, Pastor, Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church; coauthor, A Puritan Theology
“In the history of pastoral life, certain books stand out as classics that must be read by anyone who is serious about this utterly vital sphere of the Christian world. One immediately thinks of the books on pastoralia by Gregory the Great or Martin Bucer. Among this select group is Richard Baxter’s The Reformed Pastor. It can be a daunting read, for Baxter demands much of anyone who would seek to serve as a pastor to the souls of men and women and children. Daunting though it is, it is a must-read. For here we find not only a book that has influenced generations since it was first published but a work that sets forth the high calling of being a minister of the gospel. The latter is not in vogue today for a number of reasons, and to some extent we are reaping the fruit of our failure to highly prize pastoral leadership. May the reading of this new edition, rightly abridged, serve to rekindle among God’s people a prizing of the pastorate and a prayer for those who serve in it. May it be a key vehicle to help refocus the passions and goals and energies of those currently serving as shepherds of God’s people!” - Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality; Director, The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The Reformed Pastor rightfully carries the description of a ‘classic work in pastoral ministry.’ John Wesley and C. H. Spurgeon both testified to its benefit in their lives and ministries, as have thousands of other pastors. Baxter scholar Tim Cooper has abridged Baxter’s lengthy work into a more manageable (yet no less powerful) charge to pastors. It is my joy to commend this book to the current generation of ministers, that by carefully taking heed to themselves first, they will be better prepared to take heed to the flock of God.” - Timothy K. Beougher, Associate Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry; Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Richard Baxter and Conversion