Book Review: The Pastor in a Secular Age

What does it mean to be a pastor? When ‘secular’ people ask me about my vocation, I often feel lost as to how can I explain and justify the existence of my pastoral work. In our secular age, it seems that we have lost vocabulary, importance and essence of the pastoral ministry.

The Pastor in a Secular Age is written to help us understand and navigate the perplexity murky waters of the pastoral ministry in our secular age. Andrew Root, using the paradigm of Charles Taylor, masterfully explores the question of what does it mean to be a pastor in our secular age? Root attempts to dig the roots of secularism and its impact on the pastoral ministry. He does this by showing us the portraits of pastors throughout the history such as Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, and Martin Luther King Jr. etc.

After outlining the problems that secularism presses on the pastoral identity, Root offers an alternative vision for ministry which is less pragmatic and more biblical. He explores the Old testament and draws out helpful principles that can be life-saving in wading in the strong currents of secularism.

This book is for anyone who would like to understand and appreciate the complexity of the pastoral ministry in our secular world. At times, this book can be dense but mostly it is written in such a way that all kinds of audiences can benefit from this work.


I thank Baker Academic for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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