What I Read Online – 08/30/2013 (a.m.)

30 Aug
    • Preacher, are you at your best when you are closest to the text?


      Too many preachers are at their best when they are telling a personal anecdote or ripping into some sacred cow or riffing on in a humorous fashion. There is a time for all of that, but we ought to beware if those times are when we are at our best. We can be orthodox preachers of good, gospel truths and still tickle people’s ears. If we’re not careful, we’ll train the large conference audience and our local congregation that the time to really pay attention is when we start drifting not when we start digging.

    • The congregation should be most aflame with gospel zeal when they are beholding new things in the chapters and verses at the end of their noses.
    • In fact, readers familiar with the whole of Luther’s work might well suspect that he was bipolar, as he was routinely given to fits of extreme gregariousness and extreme bitterness. Luther would go on productive spurts, churning out impressive works of theology,art, and music, and then he would withdraw into depression or anger, spending extended periods of time away from public ministry. Such is the sort of personality we should suspect in an epoch-making man who considered himself a prophet in regular conversation with both God and Satan. But, for whatever reason, we prefer to think of him in mostly the entertaining mood.
    • The value here is that we see the larger historical picture. Luther, like all men, was a very complex personality. We also see that pastoral ministry (not to mention church attendance itself!) was a very emotionally trying work. It still is. We have to resist nostalgia and any sort of “good ol days” mentality. The Reformation was a great thing and a great time. It was also a time in which you and I would probably not like to live.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 30/08/2013 in Current Issues


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