David F. Wells on Preaching…

'Preaching is not a conversation, a chat about some interesting ideas. It is not the moment in which postmoderns hear their own private message in the biblical words, one unique to each one who hears, and then go their own way. No! This is God speaking! He speaks through the stammering lips of the preacher where that person’s mind is on the text of Scripture and the heart is in the presence of God. God, as Luther put it, lives in the preacher's mouth. This is the kind of preaching that issues a summons, that nourishes the soul, that draws the congregation into the very presence of God so that no matter what aspect of his character, his truth, or his working in this world is in focus, we leave with awe, gratitude, encouragement, and sometimes a rebuke. We have been in the very presence of God! That is what great preaching always accomplishes.' From The Courage to be … Continue reading David F. Wells on Preaching…

Luther’s Eight Sermons at Wittenberg, March 1522 (Part 5)

In the fourth sermon that Luther preached, he addressed the use of images and the eating of meats. Taking a slightly different tact to what the later Reformed churches would, Luther writes, 'On the subject of images, in particular, we saw that they ought to be abolished when they are worshipped; otherwise not,—although because of … Continue reading Luther’s Eight Sermons at Wittenberg, March 1522 (Part 5)

‘Recovering the directory of public worship on preaching’ – Chris Gordon

'When the subject of preaching is addressed today, we are accustomed to asking only about the faithfulness of the message, but we avoid, almost altogether, the question of effectiveness. If T. David Gordon is at all correct, 'that less than 30 percent of those who are ordained to the Christian ministry can preach even a … Continue reading ‘Recovering the directory of public worship on preaching’ – Chris Gordon

Luther’s Eight Sermons at Wittenberg, March 1522 (Part 3)

Luther begins his second sermon with a summary of his sermon from the day before: ‘Dear friends, you heard yesterday the chief characteristics of a Christian man, that his whole life and being is faith and love. Faith is directed toward God, love toward man and one’s neighbor, and consists in such love and service … Continue reading Luther’s Eight Sermons at Wittenberg, March 1522 (Part 3)

Thesis 2: The church that uses principles of worldly wisdom to sell the gospel (like an Apple store, i.e an attractive logo and professional website, uniformed ushers and greeters, catchy vision and mission statements, short and shallow talks etc) needs to spend more time on foolish things like preaching the Word.

Explanation: when churches use worldly principles to reach the 'unchurched' they are inviting spiritual malnutrition among Christians because these principles overwhelmingly address the perceived needs of the perishing, rather than conducting the fullness of worship for those who are being saved. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but … Continue reading Thesis 2: The church that uses principles of worldly wisdom to sell the gospel (like an Apple store, i.e an attractive logo and professional website, uniformed ushers and greeters, catchy vision and mission statements, short and shallow talks etc) needs to spend more time on foolish things like preaching the Word.