Able Baker

Able is the lead pastor of Christ Evangelical & Reformed Church (Hardin, Montana) and has been a senior pastor for ten years. He has a passion for rural ministry, enjoys reading, movies, playing sports, chess, coffee, beer, watching MMA, MLB, NFL, hunting, fishing, and songwriting (he's written over 25 songs and recorded three CD’s). He's been married to his wonderful wife, Abbe, for 14 years. Together they have three beautiful children (Jackson, Chloe, and Lucy).

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Five Reasons Why We Chose Public School

Five Reasons Why We Chose Public School

April 27, 2015 | By | 6 Comments

When my wife and I began sending our children to public school it was a tough decision. Several prominent Christian leaders and friends promoted homeschool as if it went hand in hand with the Gospel. But Abbe and I decided that the gospel wasn’t really that important. I wanted to take a moment and share […]

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What is Fundamentalism?

What is Fundamentalism?

March 18, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

So my son is ten right now. I am going to be coaching his little league baseball team. That means i will be teaching a lot of little kids the fundamentals of baseball. I always tell my son “practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”. As he begins his journey through different sports […]

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Hey can I borrow the keys to the Church?

Hey can I borrow the keys to the Church?

March 16, 2015 | By | 3 Comments

Do you remember the first time your mom or dad handed you the car keys? I was 16. I remember the heavy feeling of freedom and responsibility churning in my stomach as I started my mom’s little blue Ford Ranger. The car couldn’t start soon enough and new chapter in my life had roared to […]

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The Local Church: “Library Model?” or “Garden Model?”

The Local Church: “Library Model?” or “Garden Model?”

February 26, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

I love books, and learning new things through reading. So you would think it would be a natural fit. A large building with tables, books, artwork, comfy chairs, etc I wouldn’t consider myself a Library hater but a Library is not for me anymore. I have thought about this for a while now and I’ve […]

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God the Galactic Narcissist?

God the Galactic Narcissist?

February 11, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Perhaps you have grown up with an indelible image of God pressed into your brain through teaching and preaching that seems to boil everything in the Christian life down to God getting Glory. Not that God getting glory is a bad thing. God is glorified and should be but how and why? 

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Pastor Able’s “Thirteen Reference Books Every Pastor Should Have”

Pastor Able’s “Thirteen Reference Books Every Pastor Should Have”

January 22, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

Here is a list of reference books that have been a tremendous help to me in my teaching and preaching.  Christian Theology by Alister McGrath (The who, what, where, when, how, and why of what we believe as Evangelicals) The Christian Theology Reader by Alister McGrath (Read the 350+ theological texts from 2000 years of Christian […]

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A Song For Martin Luther King Day

A Song For Martin Luther King Day

January 19, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

Here is one of my favorite old hymns. Written by an ex slave trader John Newton. I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith, and love, and every grace; Might more of His salvation know, And seek, more earnestly, His face. ‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray, And He, I trust, […]

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Three common misunderstandings of human depravity.

Three common misunderstandings of human depravity.

January 12, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity) As a pastor I hear a lot of discussion about what’s wrong with this or that. I also hear many solutions being confidently made political and otherwise in light of these discussions. But one of the things that […]

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The Six Spaces We Interpret The Bible In.

The Six Spaces We Interpret The Bible In.

December 31, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

The Bible is not a Chilton’s auto repair manual  (because we are not machines) if it were we would have far fewer differences among scholars concerning interpretation.

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STOP! Just Because It Is In The Bible Doesn’t Mean You Should Preach It On Sunday.

STOP! Just Because It Is In The Bible Doesn’t Mean You Should Preach It On Sunday.

December 29, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

Here is a tip for the new pastors out there ready like race horses to preach “the whole counsel of God” to your people. Just because it’s in the Bible does not mean you should preach it on Sunday. I’m an idiot. God likes to call idiots to the pulpit ministry because we are usually the only […]

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“Trickle Down Theonomics”

“Trickle Down Theonomics”

December 27, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

As a pastor, I find it t’s easy to pour through theological books and articles during the week. 

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“What begins in love will probably end there”.

“What begins in love will probably end there”.

December 11, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

1 John 4:10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sin.

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Seven Odd Things Every Solo Rural Pastor Needs in Their Back Pocket.

Seven Odd Things Every Solo Rural Pastor Needs in Their Back Pocket.

July 11, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

Here are some figurative and not so figurative things I have learned to keep handy on my journey as a solo rural pastor. If you have any to add throw them into the post as well. Help a brother out!  A Hat Collection: Are you a “jack of all trades master of none” kind of person? […]

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21 Things You Might Not Know About Your Pastor & Family.

21 Things You Might Not Know About Your Pastor & Family.

June 26, 2014 | By | 27 Comments

He cannot afford the books he just bought to help him serve you better.  He has worked over five weeks in a row without a day off several times this year and the only one who knows are his wife and kids. Yes he probably knows all the gossip about you (though he will say […]

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The Enigmatic, Inescapable and Loud Truth of Violence & Peace

The Enigmatic, Inescapable and Loud Truth of Violence & Peace

June 16, 2014 | By | 8 Comments

In my mind violence (both defensive and offensive) must always come before peace and because of this, change is rarely harmonious. This is unfortunate and sad but true. The cross is not simply an act of violence nor is it simply an act of non-violence.  I think we see broken and perverted shadows of the […]

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Are Evangelicals Creating A kingdom Built and Kept With Lies?

Are Evangelicals Creating A kingdom Built and Kept With Lies?

June 13, 2014 | By | 8 Comments

All this southern baptist crap makes me crazy. It is totally crazy in my opinion that Christ followers can create such a lose, lose dilemma for homosexual Christians. We have created a situation where those who have “come out of the closet” so to speak cannot come out of the closet as Christian either, for […]

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People don’t have porn problems. Sex has people problems.

People don’t have porn problems. Sex has people problems.

June 9, 2014 | By | 4 Comments

Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

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Do homosexuals have Moabitis?

Do homosexuals have Moabitis?

May 31, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

The Bible describes Moabites as Proud and arrogant. Isa 16:6; Jer 48:29.; Idolatrous. 1 Ki 11:7; Superstitious. Jer 27:3, 9; Rich and confident. Jer 48:7; Prosperous and at ease. Jer 48:11; Mighty men of war. Jer 48:14. The Moabites tempted Israel with idolatry Nu 25:1–3; Israel was to stay away from them politically De 23:6. […]

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What is and isn’t a Church?

What is and isn’t a Church?

May 31, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

What makes the local visible church distinct, recognizable or different from say a para-church institution? In other words what are the marks of the local church? What is and isn’t a church?

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On Covenant, Marriage and the Purpose of the Church.

On Covenant, Marriage and the Purpose of the Church.

May 29, 2014 | By | 5 Comments

I think many of the problems we have with Christian Marriages and Evangelical Church commitment have so much in common. They can be related to a lack of understanding of Covenant. Within the last 100 years Evangelicals have focused to much on how the church is distinct from Israel much of our understanding of Covenant […]

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On Finding a Corner in a Round Room.

On Finding a Corner in a Round Room.

May 29, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

Is this world getting better or worse? The answer is not found in the simple and worldly “yes or no” but the kingdom reality of the “both and”. I cannot express with words how difficult this reality makes Pastoring as an evangelical because everyone has a side they want the Bible, the pastor, the Church […]

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The Skeletons in Your Church Closet.

The Skeletons in Your Church Closet.

May 3, 2014 | By | 4 Comments

Let’s say two people are in your church.

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Sunday Gospel Reflection – John 20:19-31

Sunday Gospel Reflection – John 20:19-31

April 27, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

The entire biblical text and the reading below are meant to be read aloud in the company of friends and fellow believers, followed by discussion, confession, and prayer. Sunday Lectionary Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31 Peace be with you John 20:19–31 (NLT) 19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were […]

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