New Book by Pastor Keith A. Ogden
Dr. Keith Ogden revisits the “road less traveled”- this is the road that leads to compassion. In an age of combat compassion is a balm in the context of ecclesiastical conflict that can make the wounded whole.
Centered around the principle of mercy and giving and depicted in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the author picturesquely demonstrates how mercy is lived out in the three year ministry of the Master himself. He is careful in contending that the mercy motive and mercy act are only initiated and executed by the Lord, thus avoiding humanism -which is the attempt of humans to live compassionately in their own human power and strength. Although the more demonstrable and sensational gifts of the Spirit – prophecy, teaching and proclamation are much more desired by many believers, mercy is a service gift provided by the Same Spirit which buttresses the believers personal witness to the lost. It is the gospel microcosmically examined for as the author reminds us Christ, the wounded, trades places with wounded humanity and by his wounds we are healed. This is, as the author puts it “mercy at its best.”
The author weaves the thread of his work within the fabric of his pastoral personal experiences thus capturing the law of reciprocity- the law of sowing and reaping. This work marries the spiritual and the social and does not allow them to be detached in the ministry of the believer. As one reads this work it will become apparent that the author is participating in a soliloquy, a running conversation with himself - that he allows the reader to drop in on so that the reader will hopefully overhear and extend the soliloquy so that it becomes a colloquium in the proclamation, within both the sanctuary and the Christian classroom. Ultimately the author paints a portrait of the work of God in salvation history. God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit not only saves the believer through mercy but also sustains the believer through mercy in order that the believer may show mercy. According to the author believers engage the mind to see troubled humanity on the road, to sense, to search for and suffer with broken humanity in the ditch and to serve needy humanity. This emulates the Master who being full of mercy came to “bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18). I commend this book to everyone who would be an imitator of the Master’s mercy.
Robert Smith, Jr.
Beeson Divinity School
Professor of Christian Preaching
View endorsements by Dr. Howard John Wesley, Dr. Lance D. Watson,Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Bishop John Richard Bryant, Dr. Major L. Jemison, Dr. Gary L. Williams, Sr., Dr. Keecia DeCosta Ford, and Rev. Alphonso E. McGlen.
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