For the World is a festschrift for Richard Pratt, esteem educator and president of Third Millennium Ministries, included in this book are 14 essays written in his honour, and these essays do vary from each other to a certain degree.
The essays are separated in 3 aspects, ‘Biblical & Theological Studies’; ‘Ministry & Missions’; Ministry Training & Theological Education’.
The first section ‘Biblical & Theological Studies’ contains the most difficult chapters to comprehend within this book. A knowledge of Greek and Hebrew will be necessary in order to fully appreciate the first 3 chapters, having said that, I do not have a working understanding of greek or hebrew, and will leave the comments of those chapters to those who are more apt to the task. Within this section, Holcomb does write an interesting piece regarding metanarratives, though (in my very limited knowledge) I’ve not heard anyone who has had the same view as him, it remains to be an eye-opening piece that will spur others on in (I hope) the right direction with regards to this topic.
The next section deals with ministry and missions, which were very engaging as they are talk about topics that were more “down to earth”. Each and every of the chapter will be helpful for pastors who are serving in churches and who will undoubtably have to wrestle with these issues one time or another within their ministry and thus this is a good book to start with.
One of the topics that was repeated a number of time includes how Pratt, a professor and a Harvard graduate, is humble and personal with his colleagues and students alike. Included inside was also his ex-students reflection on his (in)famous ‘Introduction to Theological Studies’ (you can get this course on his website for free). Having viewed a couple of videos on this series, I have to say, Pratt’s course was able to challenge both kinds of students, those who are firmly reformed and calvinist, and those who are not. Pratt drives the students to the word of God and often tells the former to be more humble and open-minded, and to the latter, to see if what he teaches is truly what the bible says. After you have finished reading this section in this book, I’m sure you will be interested to take the course for yourself too.
The last section, talks about the contribution of Pratt within the area of theological education. It is heartening to see how Pratt and others have seen the weakness/lob-sidedness of the current theological educational system, and have made efforts in trying to reform it. This final section would most helpful for those are or intends to go for theological training. The contributors highlight what is lacking and problems that current theological training have and their solutions to resolve it. These are good solutions that would have to be seriously considered by churches and seminaries.
After reading, I do come away with a deeper appreciation of the work done by Richard Pratt and I do wish Richard Pratt and his team all the success they can have with this endeavour, and may the Lord use his efforts to train up well-equipped pastors for His own church.
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.