February 3, 2009 by C.J. Mahaney
Meet Mark Dever.
Like Dr. Wayne Grudem, Dr. Dever is scary smart. He has an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Th.M. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Dever is the author of…
He is the founder and president of 9Marks
and serves as the senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church
But you probably know all this already.
So who is Mark Dever? What does he read for fun? What discourages him? How does he structure his devotional time? What correction from others has most benefited him? What career path would he have chosen if not ministry?
Thanks for your time, Mark! Please describe your morning devotions. What time do you wake up in the morning? How much time do you spend reading, meditating, praying, etc.? What are you presently reading?
I get up between 5:30 & 7:00 (5:30 is early; 7:00 is late). My quiet time (Scripture reading and prayer) normally is anywhere between 10 minutes (short) and a little over an hour (long). Reading in the Psalms. Also reading some Dave Powlison articles.
What book(s) are you currently reading in these three categories: (a) for your soul, (b) for pastoral ministry, or (c) for personal enjoyment?
(a) David Powlison, Seeing with New Eyes
(b) 9marks stuff.
(c) Jim Ault, Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church
Apart from Scripture, what book do you most frequently re-read and why?
When you finish a book, what system have you developed in order to remember and reference that book in the future?
Star things I want to remember. Type them in a quotations Word document.
If you could study under any theologian in church history (excluding those men in Scripture), who would it be and why?
Polycarp. He knew John. I’m curious how early things went bad.
What single piece of counsel (or constructive criticism) has most improved your preaching?
Bill Behrens telling me to put the Gospel in my sermons
What books on preaching, or examples of it, have you found most influential in your own preaching?
John Stott’s Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today.
What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your effective use of time?
“When all is said and life is past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your leadership?
John Brown in a letter of paternal counsels to one of his pupils newly ordained over a small congregation:
“I know the vanity of your heart, and that you will feel mortified that your congregation is very small, in comparison with those of your brethren around you; but assure yourself on the word of an old man, that when you come to give an account of them to the Lord Christ, at his judgment-seat, you will think you have had enough.”
Where in ministry are you most regularly tempted to discouragement?
When I hurt a sheep I’m supposed to help.
Do you exercise? If so, what do you do? If not, why not?
Elliptical for 30 minutes a day in the morning (often before my quiet time). I watch DVD’s (especially documentaries) while I do this.
Currently, what sport do you like to play and/or watch?
What do you do for leisure?
Leisure is time with family or friends talking, I love getting to know people, reading, and I’ve been enjoying Settlers of Catan
recently (board game).
If you were not in ministry, what occupational path would you have chosen?
Politics, teaching or architecture.
Thank you, Mark, for taking the time to answer my questions!