Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bold Post about Preaching

I like books about preaching, and I think I like lesser known ones the best. For example, I think that Kindled Fire Zack Eswine is quite good. It's a look at Charles Spurgeon's preaching in its historical/cultural context, and calls us to bold, Spiritual, applicable proclamation of the word.

Of interest to me was his argument that Spurgeon did not live in a "golden age" of preaching but rather went against the grain in his day and received a lot of push-back. Of course, he is today referred to as the "Prince of Preachers" (a term that really should go to Jesus, but my point is that people like him).

I recently began reading Tongues Aflame by Roger Wagner, who is an OPC pastor in Chula Vista, California. I attended his church for a while and remember seeing the book float around in manuscript form.

He says that the key characteristic of apostolic preaching was boldness. The word translated "boldness," he says, is the word most frequently applied to preaching in the book of Acts. And Paul famously asks for prayer in Ephesians 6 that he would speak the word with boldness. Without boldness, our preaching simply isn't biblical; so we better figure out what that means!

Wagner goes on to clarify that those with "bold" personalities are surprisingly often NOT the boldest preachers. Boldness is not a matter of personality or tone, but simply the willingness to directly, clearly speak the truth of God from His word. And it is ultimately a work of the Holy Spirit (man, can't we do anything on our own?).

Biblically, he draws on the example of Peter. He claimed to be bold, he said he would follow Jesus to death, but petered out. It wasn't until the Holy Spirit took over in Acts 2 that Peter was truly able to preach with genuine, Spiritual boldness.

Lord, grant us pastors grace to boldly speak Your word. And thank you, Lord, for those who do.

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