"A sword in one hand, a trowel in the other,” famously describes the stance of the men who rebuilt the wrecked walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:15-17). If the church today is to likewise be built up and protected from compromise, her ministers must adopt a similar stance. With a trowel, they must cultivate a positive gospel ministry (1 Corinthians 2:2); with a sword, they must defend the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
In the following two lectures delivered for Reformed Baptist Seminary, Dr. Conrad Mbewe gives twin exhortations for the pastoral wielding of the sword and trowel. In the first, he unpacks the task of preaching polemically: opposing error and false teaching so that it cannot lead God’s people astray. In the second, he calls pastors to preach evangelistically: proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ with clarity and conviction from the church’s pulpit and beyond. May they stir up the church’s ministers to take up both the sword and the trowel!