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Of all that is unique about the Christian faith, this aspect stands apart: Its leaders are not called to their positions because of rare skill, raw talent, or overwhelming desire. They are not qualified by the charismatic personality, the ability to draw a crowd, or skilled rhetoric. Rather, Christian leaders are called and qualified by godly character. In passages like 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-3 we read what a man must be if he is to serve as pastor (or elder, if you prefer).
But D.A. Carson has rightly pointed out that the list of qualifications for elders is “remarkable for being unremarkable.” Why? Because “the criteria mentioned are demanded of all Christians everywhere. Which is another way of saying, elders are first of all to be exemplars of the Christian graces that are presupposed as mandated on all Christians.” Every...
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