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The Reformed Pastor

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,625 ratings  ·  169 reviews
One of the best known classics on the work of the Christian ministry.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Banner of Truth (first published 1656)
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 ·  3,625 ratings  ·  169 reviews

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Demetrius Rogers
There's no doubt Richard Baxter was an amazing man of God and a most devoted pastor. I love the premise of his work - the pastorate is larger than the pulpit. What a good reminder. Preaching sermons is not enough to effectively pastor a congregation. Using Acts 20:20 as his basis, Baxter sought to advance the idea that pastors are to teach in public and from house to house. Visitation was heavy on Baxter's heart as he considered the state of pastoral ministry in the 17th century. He felt too man ...more
Matt Pitts
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry
Baxter's style is plain, vivid, and vigorous. When it comes to the puritans I have attempted to read a little of Owen and Sibbes, but now I wish I had started with Baxter. (I've read Bunyan too, but he seems to be in a class by himself!) Baxter is not at all hard to understand or hard to follow, nor is he boring or tedious. He is full of life and zealous for the truth to be not merely known but lived. No doubt some of his zeal was due to the fact that he was never far from death because of his p ...more
Ian Hodge
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pastoral-care
Richard Baxter's time as a pastor proved very fruitful. IN this book he has advice for his fellow-pastors, shepherds of the flock. But this is no soft-treading nice reflection on pastoral theology. It is a challenge to every pastor to live the life that is preached from the pulpit or else face neglect, even ridicule, for a hypocrisy.

While this is an excellent book as far as it goes, it does not give the total story of Baxter's success, which had much to do with his practical application of the S
Joe Cassada
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that every pastor must have in his library - and not only in his library, he must have it bouncing around in his heart and lingering in the back of his mind. In this book Baxter shows what is the bone and marrow of effective pastoral ministry. He exposes frauds, denounces sin, and exhorts to greater works for the Saviour. If you can read this book, O man of God, and not be humbled, convicted, and motivated, then you have a stony heart.

This book should be required readi
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
My mentor/ordination supervisor "assigned" this for me to read and we discussed it at length.

In typical puritan fashion, Baxter is "wordy". His intent is good- to make clear the need for those called to ministry to be spiritually alive, healthy, and passionate for seeing God's work of rebirth happening in the people of a given parish. He makes this point abundantly clear, but repeats that same idea over and over. This book could be 1/3 the size it is.

But at the time, Baxter was revolutionary in
Jason Harris
Apr 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
I have often heard this book spoken of in hushed tones over the years. It was so well spoken of from so broad a group of people that I looked forward eagerly to a theologically rich, spiritually challenging, profoundly edifying read. I was sorely disappointed.

I'm taking the time to write this review because I hope to spare some other pastor from investing his time in this book. So let me clarify. I benefited from the book. It gave me some good insights into the state of the church in England at
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
TChap/Page Comment
I The Oversights of ourselves
Sect 1 Nature of it
1. See that saving grace is wrought in your own soul
2. Make sure that grace is kept in a lively active state
3. Don’t let your example contradict your doctrine unless you cause others to stumble
(1). Main your innocence and walk without offence.
(2). Abound in the work of charity and benevolence
4. Take heed, lest you live in the same sins you condemn
5. Take heed that you don’t lack the qualifications for your office.
Sect. 2. The Mot
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has great things to say about pastoral self care, pastoral vocation and the priority of catachesis. I do think Baxter is a little dour and I would question how some of his methodology would translate, but I am wowed by the sacredness in which he views his vocation and the attentiveness he had towards his flock.
Douglas Wilson
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Also read in October of 1979.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Great for reminding pastors of the seriousness of their business, but it's so heavy handed that I was numb to it by the end. ...more
Matthew Dean
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Baxter's Reformed Pastor is full of heartfelt zeal for pastors and ministers to be strong and diligent in their calling to preach the gospel. Many, many times he calls on them to make themselves worthy of the call they received and to always be mindful that should they fail, those around them may slip from this life into an eternity far worse than anything they may experience in this life.

He reminds them that as lawyers would be willing to give advice and teaching in matters of law and as docto
Jen Vanderwey
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Straight talk about a pastor’s call to feed and shepherd his flock. What does it mean to oversee faithfully? What does it mean to preach to your people? Should a preacher pastor large numbers? Baxter brings it. Hard.

His book was very instrumental for me when our church was considering a multi-site model. Through Baxter’s teaching and the teaching of his modern understudy, Mark Dever, I became convicted that multisite does not meet the high calling for a pastor to look out on his congregants, kno
Jason Todd
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I would strongly suggest this book for anyone considering going into ministry. It is a blunt observation and challenge to pastors regarding their personal faith and the responsibilities they have committed to. It’s hard to read this book without feeling convicted, but surely those of us in ministry are required to feel the weight of that calling.

Read it, and take heed!
Matt & AmyLaura Duraski
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I debated about whether giving this a 3 or 4 star review but after reflection and research I believe most of what made me want to give it only 3 stars can be explained by a better understanding of Baxter’s historical context and how his more strident recommendations would practically translate into ministry today. Over all great teaching for the church but one needs to be careful not to be a “chronological snob” and to not read with too much of a 21st century bias.
Nate Youtzy
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Baxter's elegant work on who the pastor is/ought to be is filled with fantastic gems and critical thoughts for any pastor who seeks to live out his calling. My drawback to this work (and many other puritan writings) is the volume/"weight" of material that Is presented. Each sentence can be considered for days on end before moving on. Fantastic material, but extremely heavy. Not meant to be read in a week. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clear and convicting. This is a must read for anyone who takes their duties as a pastor seriously. Things that modern pastors are mocked for (visiting members, warning the lost, disciplining unruly members, etc...) Mr. Baxter pulls no punches in reminding ministers of their duties. This is a book I will revisit in the future.
Sean McGowan
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Convicting. The cover alone convicts me! Recommended to everyone who desires to serve in pastoral ministry.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lots of really great stuff. The odd thing I didn’t really agree with. Repetitive in places, in classic Puritan style it could’ve been half the length.
Jacob London
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Not my cup of tea. Still many good things in this work.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best work on pastoral ministry I've read -- a must read for pastors and ministry leaders. ...more
Jonathan Klimek
Richard Baxter in his book, The Reformed Pastor expounds Acts 20 focusing on Acts 20:28 exhorting Pastors to “take heed” of themselves and of the flock of God. He exhorts them to serve the Lord will all humility (20:19), patience and perseverance 20:24), in repentance and faith (20:21), denying self (20:33), with a clear conscience (20:26); teaching publicly (20:20) the whole council of the Word (20:27), with diligence, earnestness and affection (20:31) in prayer (20:32). This is my desire, comm ...more
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I bought this book over a year ago on a whim without knowing anything about the book or writer. Heck it only cost a quarter. I did not touch the book for a year.

I read the book because of it seemed like many people were referencing Baxter. Before I read it I learned that Spurgeon had his wife read it to him EVERY SUNDAY and supposedly he cried everytime because he felt he had fallen so far short. Whether this story is true or not is unsure even though there are many quotes from Spurgeon praisin
John Yelverton
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely outstanding book which covered a variety of topics facing young ministers. My only cause for pause was the heavy emphasis for the study of catechisms rather than the Bible itself, but on the whole, it is a fantastic read.
Aaron Ventura
A worthwhile read for pastors. Baxter makes a big deal about living out what you preach and not expecting from your congregation that which you don't do yourself. Common sense that is too uncommon in our day. ...more
Shihong Zu
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Repetition is the mother of all learning. Baxter will hammer home the same necessary truths that must abide within a man so that he may be an effective minister. I appreciate reviewing the same principles and examining my own life and practice with him.
Eric Durso
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you want to stay comfy as a pastor, avoid this book at all cost. Baxter will stretch you.
Jacob Aitken
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding work, but be careful in reading it if you are prone to extreme introspection and depression. Baxter's exhortations would then bring out the worst in you. ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The reformed (i.e. revived) pastor! Very good! Every pastor and missionary and worker for Christ ought to read.
Cory McArtor
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Worth reading for anyone who is or aspires to be a pastor/elder.
Jonathan Klimek
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Richard Baxter in his book, The Reformed Pastor expounds Acts 20 focusing on Acts 20:28 exhorting Pastors to “take heed” of themselves and of the flock of God. He exhorts them to serve the Lord will all humility (20:19), patience and perseverance 20:24), in repentance and faith (20:21), denying self (20:33), with a clear conscience (20:26); teaching publicly (20:20) the whole council of the Word (20:27), with diligence, earnestness and affection (20:31) in prayer (20:32). This is my desire, comm ...more
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Richard Baxter was an English Puritan church leader, poet, hymn-writer, theologian, and controversialist. Dean Stanley called him "the chief of English Protestant Schoolmen". After some false starts, he made his reputation by his ministry at Kidderminster, and at around the same time began a long and prolific car

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