Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Power of the Pulpit

"There are many evangelicals who have a high view of the Bible and are willing to do battle for it, but who have a very low view of the Word of God as proclaimed in the sermon. This is one of the strangest paradoxes in the church today: vigorous defense of the Bible as the Word of God hand in hand with low esteem for the preaching of that same Word to build up the church of Christ. ...

"Bible study, small groups, and religious sharing are increasingly urged as the route to revitalization of the church, while faith in the pulpit fades and grows dim. I am convinced that it profits a church little to have a high view of Scripture if at the same time it has a low estimate of the preaching of the Word."

(James Daane, Preaching with Confidence: A Theological Essay on the Power of the Pulpit (Resource Publications, 1980), p viii.)

Not much has changed in almost thirty years...Very little of what passes for evangelical preaching today is able to inspire and uplift a congregation, because it omits from the proclamation the power of God in it. Moralism, ear candy and how-to messages take the place of the "power of God for salvation." Yet history bears out the ineluctable result that when the preacher, the man of God, proclaims the power of God through the Word of God to the people of God, the church is edified, God is glorified, and the lost are evangelized.

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