Wednesday, 28 May 2014

10 feet thick and 15 feet deep

Trevin Wax has some wise words over at Gospel People about going to Scripture regularly to sustain your spiritual life and not going there just to find an outline when you are required to preach.  He also reminds against a practice that is all too common, perhaps especially among young, reformed men.  That is the practice of turning immediately to a favourite preacher, teacher or author whenever we have a theological or exegetical question when instead we ought first to be going to the text of Scripture and digging, cross-referencing, wrestling, praying for wisdom and understanding, and then, after we have shown ourselves approved, a worker who rightly handles the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15; 3:14-17), only then do we go confirm with preachers and teachers who we trust.  Here is an excerpt from his timely reminder:
"A couple years ago, an elderly woman in our church asked me a theological question I hadn’t considered before. Rather than going to the Bible, I went straight to the Internet, where I began searching for a respected pastor’s views on the subject. Before I found his answer, I was struck by how wrongheaded and dangerous my approach was. I had rushed to hear the preacher before I had slowed down to hear the text."
Of course, not everyone will have loads of time to search out every question that arises via full-on, in-depth cover-to-cover Bible study.  But, any one who stands in the pulpit or who teaches in some setting, ought themselves to be doing the heavy lifting of scriptural exegesis and theological mining and not merely doing a quick internet scan and then echoing what their heroes might say on the subject.  If that is the way we preach and teach the Word, where will be the ten-foot thick, fifteen-foot deep concrete convictions that are the foundations upon which we build the assertions and applications of our sermons? 

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