Excerpts from In Search of Paul
Tony Cooke

Below are excerpts from a few different chapters—this will give you an idea about some of the book’s content. If you haven’t ordered a copy, you can order it now. If you are interested in wholesale pricing, please call Harrison House at (800) 888-4126.

From: Molded and Shaped: Who Has Influenced You?

I am inviting you (figuratively) to be a time traveler with me. What would Luther, Wesley, Moody, and Spurgeon say to us if we could sit down and talk with them? What lessons could we glean if we had the privilege of being mentored by them? What if they—from their tremendous journeys of faith—could share their wisdom, experiences, and insights? No, we won’t literally travel back in time to visit with them, but their words have traveled into our day and age to encourage, enlighten, and empower us. 

The leaders referred to in this book drew from the same redeeming and empowering grace from which we are privileged to partake. Their Fountain is our Fountain. They had no free passes or easy roads any more than we do. They were not infallible human beings any more than we are. Our allegiance, of course, is to the One perfect person, the Lord Jesus Christ, but we also owe a great debt to those less-than-perfect individuals who blazed the trail before us. 

“The leader should read to have fellowship with great minds. Through books we hold communion with the greatest spiritual leaders of the ages.” 

– Oswald Sanders

“If you are going to be a worker for the cure of souls, God will bring you under masters and teachers.” 

– Oswald Chambers

From: Paul’s Method: Leading by Example 

This may be fairly simplistic, but here are three factors that go into the equation of why a person might be drawn to place himself under another’s leadership. They are: 

  • He believes in that leader’s character (He admires who the leader is).
  • He believes in that leader’s communication (He appreciates what the leader says). 
  • He believes in that leader’s conquests (He respects what the leader accomplishes). 

There is danger of course, if we look for someone to always interpret and personify God’s truth perfectly; humans will (predictably) fail. No one has ever manifested God’s nature and character perfectly except the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why Howard Hendricks wisely said, “When you see me stop following Christ, stop following me.”

Matthew Henry stated, “Those who teach by their doctrine must teach by their life, or else they pull down with one hand what they build up with the other.” 


From: Unshakable and Unmovable: Being Grounded in Truth 

Paul wanted Timothy to be solidly grounded in revealed truth. What difference would it make if Timothy was a confident and secure leader but could not clearly articulate truth? What would the benefit be if Timothy had mastered all kinds of managerial and leadership skills and was a clever communicator, but did not have divine truth at the core of his own heart and at the center of his messages? 

Timothy was not simply a motivational speaker or the head of a social club. Rather, he was charged with a most solemn responsibility—that of watching over souls and sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ministers should never forget that the eternal destiny of countless people hinges on the truth of the gospel being faithfully communicated.

Blaise Pascal said: “Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.” Likewise, Thomas Brooks remarked, “Where truth goes, I will go, and where truth is, I will be, and nothing but death shall divide me and the truth.” 


From: The Powers of the World to Come: Supernatural Life and Ministry 

Christianity is a supernatural faith. Every true Christian has been born from above—by the influence and work of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the call to ministry is supernatural in origin, and ministers can only carry out their assigned work effectively by the enablement and empowerment of the Spirit of God. The presence of the supernatural, though, does not negate natural factors in our lives and ministries. For example, Timothy was no doubt influenced by the faith of his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5), but they could not save him or call him; only God could do that. 

Oswald Sanders said: “Spiritual leadership requires Spirit-filled people. Other qualities are important; to be Spirit-filled is indispensable.” 

From: Ultimate Accountability: We Will Stand Before God 

I wonder today how many believers and ministers live with the vivid awareness that they will one day stand before God and give an account for what they did in this life? How much would our decisions and actions be affected if we were mindful of the time when we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. If we are to make decisions that are truly right, pleasing God must be more important to us than pleasing people, and principle must be more important to us than mere pragmatism. 

It is important to remember that God is a righteous Judge. There will be no fooling him, even if we fooled others. He will judge righteously. This does not have to instill the wrong kind of fear, but it should be very sobering. The Lord will not be handing out participation trophies, but he will justly evaluate all that we did for him while on this earth. 

  1. C. Ryle commented, “Let us remember, there is One who daily records all we do for Him, and sees more beauty in His servants’ work than His servants do themselves… And then shall His faithful witnesses discover, to their wonder and surprise, that there never was a word spoken on their Master’s behalf, which does not receive a reward.” 

Other chapters in the book include:

Stay Put: Even When You Feel Like Running 

The Man in the Mirror: Taking Heed to Yourself 

Honor Toward All: Treating People Right, Avoiding Strife, and Praying for Others 

Stand and Deliver: Preach the Word 

God’s Heart Cry: Be Evangelistic 

You can order your copy of In Search of Paul today by visiting the bookstore on our website. If you prefer, you can also call our office at (918) 645-9120.