Preaching, Gravity and Depravity

15 07 2009

It’s now over seven months since I last preached (boy am I missing it!), but the intervening time has given me opportunity to read and reflect on what the task of preaching really is. Much that passes for preaching in our generation falls far short of what the word means biblically, and what it has meant historically. I can think of no finer tutor in what the task of preaching represents than Iain H. Murray, and recently a quote from his ‘A Scottish Christian Heritage’ has been coming back to me with force. It is from Thomas Chalmers, and ought to serve as a warning to all who preach, and to all who listen to preaching:

How little must the presence of God be felt in that place, where the high functions of the pulpit are degraded into a stipulated exchange of entertainment on the one side, and of admiration on the other! And surely it were a sight to make angels weep when a weak and vapouring mortal, surrounded by his fellow sinners, and hastening to the grave and judgment along with them, finds it a dearer object to his bosom to regale his hearers by the exhibition of himself, than to do, in plain earnest, the work of his Master’
– Thomas Chalmers in A Scottish Christian Heritage, p.94

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