Posted On August 28, 2016

Seven Questions about Books, Life, and Ministry with Joshua Waulk

by | Aug 28, 2016 | Seven Questions about Books, Featured

Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)

For starters, it’s a joy to be a son of the living God, justified by grace alone through faith alone. The older I get (now 42), the sweeter this is to me. Every day is a gift and an undeserved invitation to enjoy and glorify God.

It’s a wonderful thing to take my place among all the “ordinary pastors,” or in my case, “ordinary counselors.” I serve as the founding executive director at Baylight Counseling, Inc., a nonprofit ministry for biblical soul care in Clearwater, Fl. I’m a native of Tampa Bay, so to minister here is a unique blessing. I’m open to going where ever the Lord may lead, but this is home.

I spent seventeen years in local enforcement, serving in a variety of duties: patrolman, K9 handler, SWAT operator, narcotics detective, etc. I grew up in a law enforcement home, with my dad serving in the city of St. Petersburg. I loved being a cop and a deputy sheriff, but in 2011, after completing our first adoption, I knew my time was up.

I retired from police work at that time and began my seminary training at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I completed the MABC in 2015 as well as ACBC certification. Not wanting to stop there, I immediately entered the D.Min. program with an emphasis in biblical counseling.

Having spent six years as part of a church plant, I thought traditional pastoring would be my future, but to this point, God seems to have had other plans. Starting a nonprofit from scratch has carried its fair share of challenges, but when a couple sends you an email to thank you for your work in their marriage, or when a former counselee refers a friend, the labor is made sweet and God gets the glory.

Aside from these things, I have the privilege of being the husband of Christy Waulk, and the dad to four awesome children. Trevor is my firstborn, and our younger three are each domestically adopted as infants into our family. Each one of our children has had a special and unique effect upon our entire family. They are each fully and wonderfully members of our home. I’m truly blessed.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a ton of stuff for school right now, mostly related to biblical counseling. I just finished a year-long chronological read through the Bible, and I’m enjoying a read through some items from R. Scott Clark, David VanDrunen, Charles Spurgeon, and John Murray to name a few. As a Reformed Southern Baptist (I know, it’s crazy), I love works that point me back to our “particular” roots.

What are some books you regularly re-read and why?

I can’t claim to be a full-on “re-reader” of books, but I do have books that I reference again and again. For encouragement, I love the Valley of Vision from Banner of Truth. While not actual books in the traditional sense, I have fallen in love with the great creeds and confessions. Because we live in an age of evangelical confusion, I love to be reminded of our theological roots (WCF and LBC 1689, for example).

What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?

I’m in the middle of reading biographies of Spurgeon and Owen from Lawson and Ferguson.

Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?

I loved Dallimore’s biography of Spurgeon. I had to read it in seminary. Spurgeon’s accomplishments at such a young age (so common to the era) are pretty stunning. God’s hand was clearly upon him. I especially love the account of Spurgeon’s conversion.

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 – JI Packer
  • The Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller
  • Overcoming Sin and Temptation – John Owen (Taylor and Kapic)
  • Desiring God – John Piper
  • What is Reformed Theology – RC Sproul

What books have molded how you serve and lead others in the gospel? 

  • Competent to Counsel – Jay Adams
  • The Peacemaking Pastor – Alfred Poirier
  • Peacemaking for Families – Ken Sande
  • This Momentary Marriage – John Piper

Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus?

I’ve been greatly influenced of late by covenant theology. I read Scripture through a covenant lens and see better than ever now how God has graciously condescended toward us in every way. What’s more, thanks to the good work of others, I’m coming to see the danger of Neonomianism that’s crept into so much of evangelicalism, even those parts that we love. Learning what it means to more fully rest in the work and grace of God in Christ alone while praying for the fruit that glorifies Him is a joy.

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