Tuesday is for Preaching
Once upon a time I taught preaching at a seminary in California for about 6 years. One of the textbooks that I assigned every year was John Stott’s Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century. It was and continues to be a great survey of, call to, and inspiration for great preaching. So, in honor of John Stott’s ministry and in celebration of his call home to be with Christ this past week, I offer the good doctor’s wisdom and insight:
“The standard of preaching in the modern world is deplorable. There are few great preachers. Many clergy do not seem to believe in it any more as a powerful way in which to proclaim the gospel and change the life. This is the age of the sermonette: and semonettes make Christianettes. Much of the current uncertainty about the gospel and the mission of the Church must be due to a generation of preachers who have lost confidence in the Word of God, and no longer takes the trouble to study it in depth and to proclaim it without fear or favour.” (p. 7)
I read these words, now at a distance of some thirty years since John Stott penned them at the young age of 60, and I am impressed with the weight of them still. By God’s grace, there are some great preachers among us, but oh how many more we need and how much we need a revival of gospel-center-confidence in our preachers and churches.
God has told John “well done.” We who remain should thank God for the 90 years of life and the long and honorable service of a mighty man of God and pray that God might continue to bless the world with such great men.