Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who's the Arrogant Preacher?

Desiring God's national conference, With Calvin in the Theater of God, is underway. Doug Wilson's contribution, The Sacred Script in the Theater of God, has proved to be especially insightful.

Applying Calvin's understanding of God's Word and preaching to our day, Wilson makes a perceptive observation:
A minister should ascend into the pulpit in order to declare what would have been true had he never been born. He is there to preach what was written in the Word before all ages and is utterly disconnected from his personal dreams, hopes and aspirations. He is there as a herald. As an ambassador.

It is quite striking that when a man today stands up in the pulpit and opens the Bible and says something like "Thus says the Lord" or "These are the very words of God" or "Hear O Israel, Behold your God!" and declares from the Word, what is he accused of being? Arrogant! Because he thinks that he doesn't matter. He’s arrogant because he thinks he doesn’t matter.

And if a guy gets up there on a stool and a cardigan sweater and chats with the people and tells stories about himself for the entire length of the sermon… 10 minutes or so. Sermonettes for Christianettes. He’s talking about himself all day long, he’s "transparent."

A minister is not up there to develop a relationship with everybody individually, he is not the Holy Spirit. He is there as a herald, as an ambassador. He is there to declare something that is outside of his control. What God has revealed to us in the Bible is the message; that’s the script. He’s not up there to preach Himself, but rather to be a servant who preaches Jesus Christ, the crucified Lord (2 Cor 4:5).

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