He (the preacher) must not be always trying to make sermons, but always seeking truth, and out of the truth which he has won the sermons will make themselves . . . Here is the need of broad and generous culture. Learn to study for the sake of truth, learn to think forth the profit and the joy of thinking. Then your sermons shall be like the leaping of a fountain, not like the pumping of a pump. Philip Brooks from the 1877 Yale Lectures in Between Two Worlds by John Stott, p. 181
Friday, July 31, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
It is to help Christian develop a Christian mind. The Christian mind is not a mind which is thinking about specifically Christian or even religious topics, but a mind which is thinking about everything, however apparently 'secular,' and doing so 'christianly' or within a Christian frame of reference. It is not a mind stuffed full with pat answers to every question, all neatly filed as in the memory bank of a computer; it is rather a mind which has absorbed biblical truths and Christian presuppositions so thoroughly that it is able to view every issue from a Christian perspective and so reach a Christian judgment about it. John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 170.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
The preaching of heavenly doctrine has been joined upon the pastors . . . Many are led either by pride, dislike or rivalry to the conviction that they can profit enough from private reading and meditation; hence they despise public assemblies and deem preaching superfluous . . . this is like blotting out the face of God which shines upon us in teaching. Quoted by John Stott in Between Two Worlds, p. 119.
Despite not, good brethren, despise not to hear God's Word declared. As you tender your own souls, be diligent to come to sermons; for that is the ordinary place where men's hearts are moved, and God's secrets revealed. For, be the preacher never so weak, yet is the Word of God as mighty and as puissant as ever it was. John Jewel, as quoted by John Stott in Between Two Worlds, p. 119.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Decline of spiritual life and activity in the churches is commonly accompanied by a lifeless, formal, unfruitful preaching, and this partly as cause, partly as effect. On the other hand, the great revivals of Christian history can most usually be traced to the work of the pulpit, and in their progress they have developed and rendered possible a high order of preaching. E. C. Dargan, as quoted by John Stott in Between Two Worlds, p. 114-115
Monday, July 20, 2015
E. C. Dargan comments on the decisive factor of preaching in the spiritual vitality of the church . . . Decline of spiritual life and activity in the churches is commonly accompanied by a lifeless, formal, unfruitful preaching, and this partly as cause, partly as effect. On the other hand, the great revivals of christian history can most usually be traced to the work of the pulpit, and in their progress they have developed and rendered possible a high order of preaching. quoted by John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 115
Friday, July 17, 2015
The Church is the creation of God by his Word. Moreover, God's new Creation (the Church) is as dependent upon his word as his old creation (the universe). Not only has he brought it into being by his Word, but he maintains and sustains it, reforms and renews it through the same Word. The Word of God is the sceptre by which Christ rules the Church and the food with which he nourishes it. John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 109.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
I am not despising homiletics as a topic for study in seminaries, but rather affirming that homiletics belongs properly to the department of practical theology and cannot be taught without a solid theological foundation. To be sure, there are principles of preaching to be learned, and a practice to be developed, but it is easy to put too much confidence in these. Technique can only make us orators; if our theology is right, then we have all the basic insights we need into what we ought to be doing, and all the incentives we need to induce us to do it faithfully. John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 92.
Monday, July 13, 2015
His throne is the pulpit; he stands in Christ's stead; his message is the word of God; and around him are immortal souls; the Savior, unseen, is beside him; the Holy Spirit broods over the congregation; angels gaze upon the scene, and heaven and hell await the issue. What associations and what vast responsibility! Matthew Smith as quoted by John Stott in Between Two Worlds, p. 82.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Here is the testimony of Luther about the power of the word . . . I simply taught, preached, wrote God's word: otherwise I did nothing. And when, while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with Philip and my Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a Prince or Emperor inflicted such damage upon it. I did nothing. The Word did it all. Quoted by John Stott, Between Two Worlds, P. 25.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Preaching is indispensable to christianity. Without preaching a necessary part of its authenticity has been lost. For christianity is, in it's very essence, a religion of the Word of God. No attempt to understand Christianity can succeed which overlooks or denies the truth that the living God has taken the initiative to reveal himself savingly to fallen humanity; or that his self-revelation has been given by the most straight forward means of communication known to us, namely, by a word and words; or that he calls upon those who have heard his Word to speak it to others. John Stott, Between Two Worlds, P. 15.
Monday, July 6, 2015
"I believe that by far the most important secrets of preaching are not technical but theological and personal." John Stott, Between Two Worlds, p. 10.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Here is thoughtful advice I found on the Gospel Coalition for churches to do in response to the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage . . .