- Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)
A: Hi my name is Wei Feng Ho. I recently graduated from seminary (RTS Atlanta) and was also recently ordained and installed as assistant pastor of college ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Atlanta which is the same church I interned at for 2.5 years before. It’s been wonderful to stay and continue to shepherd those that I have known as an intern while also having my role expanded to include those outside the college circles and serving the congregation through more preaching, teaching, and shepherding. I’m currently single, but I’m praying for a wife if that is the Lord’s will for me! Like most any other pastor, it brings me joy to see God’s people trust in Christ and grow in their faith, maturity, and obedience to Him. In particular, it’s been a joy to disciple and help prepare other men for ministry as well. Lately, it’s been a passion of mine to see Christians with natural social/cultural hostilities with others work through that with the gospel so they can be reconciled and love one another. In my spare time, I enjoy good theology books, music, art, food (spicy!), and conversations with people. I enjoy playing tennis and keeping up with most major professional US sports, especially Atlanta Braves baseball.
- What are you reading right now?
A: I’m always in a middle of a bunch of books at once. I need to start paring down…
-“Studies on the Sermon on the Mount” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
-“Dynamics of Spiritual Life” by Richard Lovelace
-“For a Continuing Church” by Sean Michael Lucas
-“You Are What You Love” by Jamie Smith
-“Union with Christ” by Rankin Wilbourne
-Dennis Johnson’s commentary on Philippians (REC series) since I’m preaching through that right now.
-Vol. 3 of John Owen’s Work, on the Holy Spirit. It’s been lifelong goal for me to read through as much of John Owen’s works as I can.
- What are some books you regularly re-read and why?
-“The Mortification of Sin” by John Owen. Because as Owen says, “be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” I find myself regularly revisiting this short work because of my need of sanctification!
-“Future Grace” by John Piper. God used this book in profound ways in my life in college. It’s essentially Piper writing on sanctification, but I really enjoyed how he applied trusting in God’s grace to fighting particular kinds of sins. Piper has recently made a substantial edit to this book, which I’ve been told is to make it more Christ-centered so looks like I’ll be re-reading it again soon!
-Calvin’s Institutes. It’s hard to beat the Institutes for breadth, depth, and readability. So many of my Christian heroes (such as the late RC Sproul) consider the Institutes to be in their top 5 most influential works and I’m beginning to see why. I can think of times where I’m preparing for something, and I ask myself, “I wonder why Calvin said about _____?” and I pull these volumes off the shelf to re-read for his help.
-“The Holiness of God” by RC Sproul. I was completely wrecked in college by this book because it awakened me to how holy God is and how unholy I am! I came away with a much greater view of God. I will always be indebted to Dr. Sproul for this book and many of his Ligonier writings and lectures for helping me grow in the Reformed faith.
- What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?
A: Along with the other books I just mentioned, I’m currently also in the middle of working my way through Iain Murray’s biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
- Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?
A: I confess that while there are many great biographies on my list, I often read other books more readily than I do biographies. Then whenever I do read one, I ask myself, “Why don’t you read more biographies?” Missionary biographies, particular those of John Paton and Adoniram Judson have influenced me. Just seeing through their lives and through much suffering how God was able to do the seemingly impossible and hold fast to them inspires me and leads me to tell myself, “What an amazing God they and I serve, One of infinite worth!”
- If you were sitting down with a fellow believer and they asked for your top five book recommendations on Christian living, what would they be?
- “Knowing God” by JI Packer. What could be more helpful to being a Christian than to know God? Packer covers so much here in these essays on the attributes of God. Although I confess as someone working with college students, I find each generation having more and more difficult time reading Packer because he can be dense (he’s called himself “Packer by name and Packer by nature!”) and reading levels are different now. I wish someone would write a “Knowing God” type of book for a new generation of the church.
- “Transforming Power of the Gospel” by Jerry Bridges (or some kind of gospel-centered book by Bridges, another favorite is “The Gospel for Real Life”). The title says it all, doesn’t it?
- “The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction” by Sinclair Ferguson. Depending on the Christian, I may not give this book for someone to read alone but to be read together with a mentor. Ferguson is such a good teacher and covers basic doctrines that all believers should know.
- “The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus” by Stephen Smallman. Probably not well known, but I like using this book to help disciple others because I feel like it covers all the essentials, including prayer, Bible reading, the gospel and practical Christian doctrine.
- A book that helps the believer study the Bible and see the whole of Scripture is essential. So many errors can happen in people not understanding the big picture of the Bible and how the Old and New Testaments fit together. A book like “According to Plan” by Graeme Goldsworthy or “God’s Big Picture” by Vaughan Roberts fits this bill nicely. “How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth” by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart is also good too.
- What books have molded how you to serve and lead others in the gospel?
–“The Trellis on the Vine” by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne was a paradigm-shifting book for me that showed me the importance of the pastoral duty of disciplining others, particularly men, and training them to disciple others as well. And for that to be true gospel growth and discipleship, the gospel must inform the content and methodology of how we disciple others.
-“The Supremacy of God in Preaching” by John Piper. This book impressed upon me that what people needed in their lives more than anything, even in the worst of times, was God himself and how He gives himself to people through the preached word. God used this book to start giving me a desire to preach. I remember putting down this book halfway through and crying out “God, I don’t know if you’ve called me to be a preacher, but use me to help others to know and exalt You!” and I thank Him for answering that prayer by making my calling clearer and giving me opportunities to minister the Word to others.
-“The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament” by Edmund Clowney. I was once told that if I appreciated Tim Keller for how gospel-filled his sermons were, I should look into his one of his mentors, Edmund Clowney. This book and others like it were so impactful in helping me see Christ in all of Scripture. The book itself was essentially a book of masterful Christ-centered sermons preached from Old Testament texts. Instead of a formulaic or “how it works” kind of book, I felt I was drawn in to see and meet Christ throughout all the Old Testament scriptures.
-“Rid of My Disgrace” by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb. This book helped me understand how to counsel with the gospel. I remember being amazed by the power of the gospel when I read this book seeing how it could be applied to sinners that have suffered horrendous things by other sinners. The same goes for a lot of the amazing work and writings done by CCEF (Christian Counseling Education Foundation).
-“God is the Gospel” by John Piper. Another book by Piper. As you can see Piper’s been very influential in my life and therefore also in ministry. I think this is one of his best and most essential books. He wants people to understand that at the greatest gift of the gospel is God giving himself to the believer. And it is because we now know God in Christ, we receive all the blessings and benefits that come with the gospel.
- Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus?
A: I’m learning all that time that though I am a great sinner, Christ is an even greater Savior! This reminds me daily how much I need the gospel of Christ in order that I might be pruned and refined for further personal growth in Christ-likeness as well as effectiveness in ministry. I’m also learning to ever be dependent upon Him for strength in my inadequacy and weakness. Jesus is also teaching me to take joy in him despite the pain and sorrows of this life, which has led to Him showing me the all-surpassing worth of knowing Him!