This has been a refreshing read… I recommend it to all IFBs, but especially those in IFB Church ministry. The first half reassures us as to what we do right. The second half explores what traditional IFBs have gotten wrong. I have given a copy to each of our deacons, and when they are finished, they will pass it on to other men in our church, as well.
For those IFB leaders over the age of forty, this book will encourage you to know that-- in spite of what seems to be the majority-- there are others in IFB ministry who actually still THINK, for themselves. For the younger generation of leaders, hopefully, you will learn from the history, and avoid the mistakes that others have made in the past. But, please, DON’T throw the baby out with the bathwater!
In all, this is a good book, written by a good
man. (I do not know Pastor Brennan, but we did meet briefly at a luncheon,
about a year ago.) I hope he’ll continue to learn more, and to write more, for
the benefit of the rest of us. Thank you, Pastor Brennan.
-Pastor Matt Furse, Mountainview Baptist Church, Custer, South Dakota
This book [Schizophrenic] is written about the IFB movement by a self-identified IFB pastor. The first part of the book summarizes what the author perceives as strengths in IFB churches and the second part calls out the sins of IFB churches. There is a small third part that delivers the author's cure for what ails the IFBs and that cure is mostly repentance.
I was pleasantly surprised with how thoughtful and reasonable this book is. I was also surprised with how plainly the author addressed problems and the fact he addressed some problems that seem to never receive air time, such as pragmatism, bad preaching, americanism, and racism in IFB churches. My own experience in IFB churches confirms many of the problems he pointed out and that same experience makes his strength assessment look a little optimistic. IFBs are not known for the ability or willingness to self-examine and self-correct.
I recommend reading this book. If you take out a few particular IFB references here and there along the way, much of what he writes applies to most churches or groups. If nothing else, he has done us a great service in forewarning of numerous dangers.
-Pastor Jeff Short, Indore Baptist Church, Indore, WV
Brother Brennan's work is a must read, in my opinion, for any who treasure their heritage as an independent Baptist. The balance of the work is masterful, encouraging the positive aspects of the faith and practices, and not shying away from shining an encompassing light on the errors within that to a great extent go unmentioned.
I was eager to read this work, personally knowing the integrity of the author. I am appreciative of the time he devoted and the efforts he has made to tackle this project, and am indebted that he put into print what I and I'm sure others have seen as independent Baptists.
I was helped, challenged, convicted, inspired, and determined to continue to chart a course that would please the Saviour after reading this!
-Bob Ross, pastor, Heritage Baptist Church, Jeanette, Pennsylvania
This [Schizophrenic] is a great book and very well written. It provokes thought and conversation, which is what any good book should do. Buy it, read it and thank me later.
-Missionary Mark Edwards, Lages, Brazil
Pastor Brennan demonstrates in this book [Schizophrenic] the biblical reasons for being independent and fundamental Baptists, but also carefully and graciously identifies areas of needed repentance and improvement. Some of what he writes may be difficult for some to admit to, but is very relevant to the very preservation and further existence of true biblical Christianity and proper ecclesiastical structure.
Those who are honest and transparent will find the book valuable.
Those who are haughty will be resistant and will most likely attack the man who wrote this book and the motive behind it.
I am grateful for the courage shown by Tom Brennan to write a proper and practical exposé of the Independent Baptist Church movement.
-Jeremy Huston, pastor, Foundation Baptist Church, Cary, Illinois
Just finished reading Schizophrenic A Diagnosis of The Independent Baptist Movement by Pastor Tom Brennan. I strongly recommend this book to every independent Baptist preacher. The challenges of our day demand a reckoning with - without throwing the baby out with the bath water. I know of no one who has addressed this in print like Pastor Brennan has.
-Phil Stringer, vice president, Dayspring Bible College, Mundelein, Illinois
Loved it! [Schizophrenic] Most blogs or articles concerning the independent Baptist Movement are written by those within our movement that can't stand their own identity as an Independent Baptist. Tom Brennan not only loves who he is as an independent Baptist but understands why he is an independent Baptist. He also talks frankly and openly about where we are wrong and I appreciated his candid approach and am in agreement about both where we are right and where we are wrong. I recommend this book.
-Jamin Witte, pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church, Calimesa, California
There are several things that I enjoyed about this book [Schizophrenic]. First of all, it was honest. Bro. Tom did not sugar coat or gloss over the ugly. It was tastefully laid out there. Second, it was balanced. Both the good and the bad were presented, with much learned depth. Finally, it was needed. Good men need to see the things presented in this book and be committed to righting the ship of our movement. It is definitely worth the time and money to invest in this book.
-Timothy Smallwood, pastor, Rose Hill Baptist Church, De Queen, Arkansas
The independent Baptist movement needs a controlled burn. There are problems that have been building up like dry tinder. If we never address these problems in a controlled-burn fashion, they will eventually hurt more people than we can imagine. I believe this book [Schizophrenic] will help ignite a flame that has the potential to protect our churches from a great deal of damage. Christians have grown frustrated with the arrogance and sin that has marked many of our churches for decades. As a result, they are either leaving their independent Baptist churches or trying to redefine what a fundamental, independent Baptist is. I have felt that frustration. Too much has been sacrificed by men and women of previous generations to simply abandon our heritage. Yet, so many problems have been ignored for so long that sometimes it appears there isn't much left to save.
I believe this book will encourage you otherwise…
-Dave Reyes, pastor, New Heights Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico
The deeply rooted love that Tom Brennan has for his independent Baptist heritage is clearly seen in his new book [Schizophrenic]. He takes us on an introspective journey so that we may examine who we truly are. He's done his homework from a scriptural as well as a historical standpoint. He's also knowingly embarked on a journey that could very easily put him in the crosshairs of criticism for his brutal honesty and opinion; I applaud his courage in that regard. Amidst the simultaneous throwing the baby out with the bathwater on one side and an ostrich with his head in the sand on the other side, it's refreshing to see that someone has tackled the issues at hand in a loving, caring, and helpful way. This book will help your life and ministry.
-Justin Soto, pastor, River City Baptist Church, Sacramento, California
This volume [The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached] by Independent Baptist pastor Tom Brennan tackles the Sermon on the Mount for Christians today. In thirty chapters Pastor Brennan seeks to help us apply this great sermons to our lives. He does not subscribe to the theory that this sermon is not for this dispensation, and so draws out many points.
Published by Xulon Press, this attractive volume is well written and easy to follow. His approach seemed to me to be devotional, just as you might expect a pastor to speak to his people. The intended audience is the person in the pew. He has read widely and was especially good at drawing in illustrations or quotes to bring out his points.
I might quibble with him over a few points, but he tackled even the more difficult passages in the Sermon on the Mount without dodging anything. He even dealt with the one on divorce. It appears to me that he worked really hard to put this book together.
You will enjoy giving this volume a try.
-Jimmy Reagan, pastor, Concord Baptist Church, Leesville, SC
This book [The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached] is faithful to the scripture from beginning to end. The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. Read this today!
-Mike Montgomery, pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Chillocothe, OH
I just finished reading Tom Brennan's book, The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached, and I was fed and challenged by it. In my library, I have several works on the Sermon on the Mount, and quite frankly, I have not been too impressed with most of them, primarily because most authors take one of two views on the Sermon on the Mount... The Political Kingdom View, which views the teaching only from the perspective that Jesus was trying to establish a kingdom that would overthrow Rome if only the hearers would follow; or, the Future Kingdom View, which relegates the Sermon as "The Constitution of the Coming Kingdom" which has little application for today.
Bro. Brennan does an excellent job presenting this sermon as applicable for daily living for 21st century followers of Jesus Christ. The beatitudes and Jesus' teaching on the Law drive home the point that it is the heart that is at issue, not outward piety, and that when the heart is following the law of God, the outward life will reflect the inward change. He does not shy away from sensitive topics like divorce (because Jesus was not afraid to address it); or the Christian and persecution -- do we submit or fight.
"Our inner motivation is as important to God as our outward actions" - p.150
I really appreciated the chapters on prayer, seeking the Kingdom of God and on Judging others.
It is my understanding this is his first book, so I was quite please at how readable it was. I can say that the deeper I got into the book, the stronger his writing became. I look forward to seeing additional books from him.
-Brad McFeters, assistant pastor, Greater Portland Baptist Church, Portland, OR
The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached, by Tom Brennan will be a blessing to all believers, pastors and members alike. Pastor Brennan's heart for the Lord and His people shines brightly on the pages of this devotional commentary. It is well-written and employs many helpful illustrations. The concluding section with its admonitions would be reason enough to recommend this volume.
-Dr. Marty Marriott, president, Maranatha Baptist University, Watertown, WI
The Sermon on the Mount is a grand, sweeping application of Christianity to day to day life. Pastor Tom Brennan's new book on The Sermon on the Mount captures this truth from the perspective of an independent Baptist preacher. While theologically sound, this book is not just the musings of an armchair theologian but the teaching of a pastor involved on the front lines of Christian service on a daily basis. You can tell that this book is written by someone who deals with real people. His heart is seen in his writing and his book is practical and devotional. It is a good clear read. It makes me want to apply the Sermon on the Mount as well as prepare a series of messages on it.
-Dr. Phil Stringer, pastor, Ravenswood Baptist Church, Chicago, IL