Pastors and Their Critics

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A Guide to Coping with Criticism in the Ministry

Every pastor knows what it’s like to be criticized. But how does he respond? And how does he offer constructive criticism of his own? 

With wisdom, charity, and a wealth of personal illustrations, Joel Beeke and Nick Thompson answer these questions and more. The Bible is full of critics, and it gives us practical principles for responding to criticism, offering criticism, and creating a healthy church culture. As Beeke and Thompson unfold a theological vision for coping with criticism in the gospel ministry, you will be strengthened, encouraged, and equipped.


About the authors:

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of systematic theology and homiletics. He is a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of several books, including Truth That FreesThe Quest for Full Assurance, and A Reader’s Guide to Reformed Literature

Nick Thompson is a graduate of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing ordination in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.


“I’m thankful for the hard thinking that has gone into these subjects in this book. . . It will help you as you try to develop a ‘tough skin and a tender heart.’”  ~Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary

“What a helpful and encouraging book. . . . Should be added to the list of books all pastors and seminarians should read if they are to endure with joy and without bitterness.”  ~Michael Reeves, President and Professor of Theology, Union School of Theology

“Criticism makes and breaks pastors more often than we would like to admit. . . . This book will help you to react to criticism in a biblical way—a way that builds you instead of destroying you.”  ~Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia

“A wonderful gift to the church. . . . If you experience or fear opposition, this little volume is a must read. My only criticism of the book is that it was not published ten years ago.”  ~Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary