One of the most popular criticisms made against Reformed Christians and pastors is that they put way too much emphasis on learning, reading and teaching and way too little emphasis on “real ministry”. Now “real ministry” is defined in a number of ways by these critics, but the allegation routinely leveled against us from many quarters of Christendom is “there is no problem too big for us to recommend a book for.”
Is there any merit to this charge, and if so, how should we answer it?
My first response is that I really wish it were true. I am afraid that the stereotype of the well-read studious Reformed Christian is nothing more than a gross caricature. There are a few men and women I know who might fit that description, but I fear that the reality is that only a fraction of people in the Reformed world really care about or make the time to pursue any kind of study outside of Sunday morning worship. It is obvious that for the most part, people are not reading, they are not making time for any extra pursuit of Biblical or theological knowledge and they are satisfied to drift along not growing or maturing in any significant way. Read more