Preaching again...

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Further to my last post, my good friend Dr. John Ross (Dumisani Theological Institute, King William's Town, SA), made the following insightful comment:

"I fully agree it is pushing the envelope to say that a meaningful encounter with God happens nowhere else other than in preaching. God meets us in his Word whether preached or read. The immediacy of preaching as existential encounter, however, lies not so much in the posture of the preacher but in the hopeful and prayerful expectation of a hearer determined, even when addressed by a poor preacher, to hear what the Lord his God has to say to him.  

This comports with WLC Q.155: "The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation." Note the emphasis here on the Spirit making it thus for the hearer, not the preacher.  

I have long been concerned about an imbalance in Reformed homiletics that focuses exclusively on the preacher preaching and, in my view, not enough thought is given to the hearer hearing. There are many more hearers than preachers in our churches. Who is going to teach them how to listen to preaching, even the rather inadequate preaching that is the general rule?"

Posted March 12, 2010 @ 2:46 PM by Derek Thomas

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