How will they hear without someone preaching?
1) While we rightly must think through all sorts of issues regarding contextualization in order to speak God's Word into this moment in time; and while we must couple together appropriate deed ministry with word ministry to incarnate the love of Jesus; at the end of the day, the Gospel comes to people supremely, uniquely, ultimately through the preaching of God's Word. That was the mission that Jesus had (Mark 1:38); that is the mission that he has given to his followers (Luke 24:45-46). We are witnesses to the reality of the Gospel and we must preach that word of witness.
2) These words again confirmed for me the importance of theological education. God's means for bringing his good news to the world is through the ministry of the Word; his way of doing this is by sending preachers; and the way to equip those preachers is through theological education. That doesn't necessarily mean that we must have degree-granting seminaries to do theological education; but that does mean that we have structures to provide essential biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral knowledge that can be used and shared with others.
3) And these words come again to me and challenge my sense of calling. My heart has always been for the church and for the ministry of the Word. Am I doing the right thing as a Seminary administrator? Should I be involved in the regular, weekly ministry of the Word in the context of a local congregation? Isn't the preaching of God's Word that supreme, ultimate, unique means of God's grace to his people? Why can't weekly preaching of God's Word serve as theological education for God's people to transform the world?
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