In 1666 the English Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote, “The soul being so precious, and salvation so glorious, it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for another world.” In our pandemic age, as in every age, it is essential to ask, are we preparing?
Whenever there is a dreadful, large-scale event (e.g., a terrorist attack or the outbreak of disease), someone is sure to announce that this is God’s judgment on the world for our sins. Is it?
The greatest silver lining in this dark cloud cannot be missed. We are still able to publish the best news ever, a lamp is still shining in Babylon, and a voice is still sounding forth the summons of Jesus to believe and be saved.
Some time ago I began a new sermon series in the book of Acts. In the introductory sermon, my goal was to ask and answer the question, “What is true of a life lived in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
John A. Broadus is arguably the most important preacher in the last 250 years. It is no small thing that his book on preaching continues to be printed so long after its original publishing. Serious students of preaching and pastors would do well to give close attention to his life and teachings.
Griffiths introduces Preaching in the New Testament with the question, “What is preaching and why do we do it?” He admits that even for himself this was a hard question to answer biblically and that he was tempted to answer it pragmatically from its results throughout church history. However, preaching’s foundation should not be merely pragmatic, but biblical and theological.
Preachers in the pulpit are not the attraction. Christ is, his word and worth. Therefore, we make every effort to deflect attention from ourselves while putting it on the Lord. This is a conclusion born out of two biblical realities: the nature of revelation and the preacher’s vocation.
More than mere worldly happiness, pastors long for their churches to be encouraged in Christ. For that is better by far. Indeed, as Psalm 63:3 declares, “the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life.” And the love of God is seen most clearly in the gospel. Therefore, week in and week out, to the gospel we must go.
I propose a new church-growth model: Preach in such a way where you try to offend as many peoples’ sensibilities as possible. The Apostle Paul seems not only content to keep stumbling blocks in his message but scandalize through his bullhorn.
Johnny can’t preach because neither he nor his congregation can remember. We live in a world where we (and the people whom we serve) have outsourced our collective memories to Zuckerberg’s servers. Endless stories and shared posts on social media have rendered human events inane.