Sunday, January 30, 2005

The power of preaching

While preaching, I've always tried to stay very close to the Word of God. That's where the real power of preaching comes from--not from the intelligence, charisma, or personality of the preacher, but from the Word. Danny Fast, writing on this topic at Boar's Head Tavern, said it pretty well:

Personal agendas are to be left behind when approaching the pulpit. I have often asked, internally, "What does this have to do with the Gospel?" when a preacher begins with his stories or comments. We have seen those "preachers" on TV spouting political and personal ideologies that, good or bad, have a place but it isn't from the pulpit.

I think Karl Barth would agree:

Preaching is the Word of God which he himself has spoken; but God makes use, according to his good pleasure, of the ministry of a man who speaks to his fellow men, in God's name, by means of a passage from Scripture. Such a man fulfils the vocation to which the Church has called him and, through his ministry, the Church is obedient to the mission entrusted to her.

Amen. The power is in the Word. Maybe that's why I identify so strongly about the homiletical theories of Barth and Hans Frei.


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