Friday, March 30, 2012

Word to the clock watchers

Some strong words from Scottish Theologian P.T. Forsyth here at the end of Preaching week.
"We discourage the position of those who are impatient of the sermon, who walk out when it comes on, or who paralyse preachers by a demand for brevity before everything else. I speak of those who do so on the ground that they go to Church to worship God. I should like to say here that in my humble judgment the demand for short sermons on the part of Christian people is one of the most fatal influences at work to destroy preaching in the true sense of the word. How can a man preach if he feel throughout that the people set a watch upon his lips. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but the preacher is not a wit. And those who say they want little sermon because they are there to worship God and not hear man, have not grasped the rudiments of the first idea of Christian worship ... A Christianity of short sermons is a Christianity of short fibre."
P. T. Forsyth, Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind (pp.68-69)
Amen. Amen. Amen. My conclusion is that without solid strong preaching, the preaching of the gospel, the fires die, the gospel is not unleashed, and what you are left with is, "Christianity of short fibre." 

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