By the Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer
Think of Shakespeare. Each of his plays is distinctive, having its own character and plot. Some of them are grander than others. But they all have the tang, so to speak, of Shakespeare, and it is hard to imagine any of them being written by anyone else.
So with Paul’s letters. Each is different, and they are not all equally weighty. But in each, we meet the same person: the apostle who lives under the authority of his risen Lord and Saviour, and of the divine message of which he has been made trustee; the teacher who calls constantly for faith in the truth of that message and in its Christ, God-man, sin-bearer, conqueror of death, discipler and coming judge; the pastor who insists that faith must show itself and unshakeable hope and conscientious, law-keeping love. In all Paul’s letters, the flavour of his gospel is steady, sweet and strong, and that is as true of Titus as it is of any.
Titus is sometimes dismissed as a dull, possibly non-Pauline rehash of things that Paul says more vividly elsewhere, notably in his letters to his prize protégé Timothy. But such a verdict is unperceptive, not to say perverse. Titus was Paul’s second deputy after Timothy, and Paul had left him on the island of Crete to finish setting in order the congregations of first-generation converts there. Was this a tough task? Yes. Cretan culture, so it appears, was casual, morally sloppy, undisciplined, self-indulgent, and self-absorbed. It is true that in his letter to Titus, Paul spells out Christian essentials in a somewhat laborious way, but this does not mean that he doubts the adequacy of Titus’ grasp of the Christian basics; what it shows, rather, is that he is going over in his own mind the full and forthright terms in which the fundamentals needed to be impressed on the Christian believers. Equally forthright statements, be it said, to young churches and church plants are sometimes needed today.
Ed Hird is a working pastor, a gospel veteran whose bailiwick for many years has arguably had something of Crete in it. He recognizes the realism of this letter, and his exposition brings it out. I heartily commend what he has written.
Dr. J.I. Packer
Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College;
Prolific author, including Knowing God,
Named by Time Magazine as among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback andebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.
Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version. You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail email@example.com . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.
-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca