Preaching to the Strong

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to his friend Eberhard Bethge these famous, much-abused words on 30 April 1944: What is bothering me incessantly is the question what Christianity really is, or indeed who Christ really is, for us today. The time when people could be told everything by means of words, whether theological or pious, is over,…

Advertisements

First chicken, then egg

You are not rightly distinguishing Law and Gospel in the Word of God if you first preach … sanctification and then justification, … or first good works and then grace. C.F.W. Walther, Law and Gospel, Thesis VII

Sanctification—joining the fray

Since the world and its dog is writing about this just now… Recently, I have been heartened to read several blog posts each on sanctification, by Pr. Mark Surburg and Pr. Jordan Cooper, respectively. You can read them here and here. That means, amongst other things, that Pr. Paul McCain is no longer alone beating…

The people in the preacher’s study

Wise words on preaching from Pr. Christopher Esget: When I have writer’s block in preparing a sermon, I try to think about explaining the text to particular members of my congregation, mentally bringing before me a child in our school, a young mother, an elderly person approaching death. I shouldn’t wait until I have writer’s…

Listening to a Sermon Fruitfully

“Isn’t it the case that we all – and I include myself here – complain so often about the sermon without ever asking whether the real basis for our discontent doesn’t perhaps lie within ourselves? When a hearer gets nothing from a sermon it is not always the sermon or the preacher that is to…

Proclaiming and bringing

While reading Luke 8 with my wife last night, I noticed something that had passed me by before: Soon afterward he [Jesus] went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1) Proclaiming and bringing. That's a lovely summary of how the Gospel works: Jesus proclaims…