Get Lost Baldy. I Ain't Buying What You're Selling
"The preacher's personality cannot be eliminated from the preaching situation, and what he appears to be is a part of what he communicates--necessarily, inescapably, willy-nilly, and for better or for worse. So the preacher must speak as one who himself stands under the authority of his message and knows the reality and power of which he speaks; otherwise the impact of his personality will reduce the credibility of his proclamation, just as a man's baldness would reduce the credibility of any sales pitch he might make as a purveyor of hair restorer. The committed personality is in this sense integral to God's message, for God uses it to communicate his own reality as his messenger speaks. But for fullest awareness of the messenger's committedness we need to have him confront os in a 'live' preaching situation; 'canned' preaching on a tape, and 'stage' preaching on TV, and 'embalmed' preaching in the form of printed sermons are all unable to communicate this awareness to the same degree. Thus the need fro preaching 'live' remains the great as it was nineteen centuries ago. It is still supremely through preaching, that is, through the impact on us of the message and the messenger together, that God meets us, and makes Himself and His saving grace known to us."
J. I. Packer in The Preacher and Preaching, pages 16-17.
01.04.12 Update: Alison Krause said something similar in an interview she did with Tavis Smiley (I posted it on Twitter): "If you believe it, people respond to it."
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love it that it allows me to keep up with friends and family, provides forums for "quick-takes" and can be a great resource for deeper reading when links to books and journals are provided. I hate it when it becomes a platform for debate or is used to stir up controversy.
The "hate" part of my relationship with social media has been alive and well over the course of the last few days following my denomination's annual meeting which is called our General Assembly.
There is a lot of work that takes place during this week; good and necessary work for the good of the Presbyterian Church in America. But, inevitably, stuff will happen that can be controversial. Controversy is in the eye of the beholder, often times. For many of my friends and fellow elders in the PCA, one particular issue was worrisome.
I'm Glad You Asked (but not really)
We debated and eventually approved a study commit…
I've probably lost my ever-loving mind posting on such an issue.
This has been, for many, a very contentious and discouraging election season. Families have been at odds, friends find themselves in pitched battles with one another and Facebook comments between Christians have seen an exceeding number of exclamation points and angry face emoticons.
However, regardless of the vote you cast and for whom, we should not be divided as friends, families and fellow Christians. Let me make my case by laying out four categories of voters (there are probably more, but work with me). These categories, in my view, are legitimate reasons to cast your vote (or not) for whoever you think you should cast your vote for.
If that is the case, Christian charity (patience, grace, love) compels us to understand one another.
It is an opportunity to listen to one another with humility. We may disagree, but that disagreement should not be a barrier in our relationship (or, even worse, destroy them).
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)
In the last couple of months, I've heard of the death of a couple of influential professors. The tributes I read reminded me of how God has blessed His church with these men. I began to think about the teachers and professors who have influenced me.
And then I read a post recently from someone who graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS). What he wrote about WTS was foreign to me. He admitted it was based on "his experience" but it was full of char…