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."
Corporate worship at Grace Community Presbyterian Church, where I serve, lasts anywhere from 70 to 90 minutes each Lord's Day morning.
The Order of Service (the Bulletin) will contain 3-5 hymns and/or psalms from the psalter (printed with the melody) [UPDATE: Because of the faithfulness of one of our church members, we now provide a YouTube playlist of the hymns and songs we will be singing each week as well. You can find out why here.]. It will also contain the doxology which we sing every week, 3-5 additional songs/hymns that we sing during communion (which we celebrate every week), prayers of adoration, invocation, confession and consecration. An Offertory during the Offering is provided as well as a page of "Communion Reflections", which are quotes from Christians that help us focus on the work and worth of Jesus and our desperate need for Him.
There is a Call to Worship and a Confession of Faith as well as a reading from the Old Testament and…
Ephesians 4:11-14 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…
I wrote a blog post a few days back out of gratitude for those who taught me at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. What prompted me to write the first post were the recent deaths of pastors/teachers/theologians and reading those who wrote tributes to them. And then a former student from WTS wrote a nasty, "victimy" blog post about the culture, faculty and student body of WTS when he was there.
If you want, take a look at the previous post on what I wrote there.
Below are five more professors God gave me to help prepare me for pastoral ministry. I continue to be grateful for them.
As in the last post, I've linked to a book they've written. Some of these men have written many books and I encourage you to take a look at all of them. Winston Smith--I had the opportunity to worship in the same church as Winston and his wife Kim and their then small children. He led our small group. Winston's passion for equipping future pastors in the counseling classes…