4/29/2009

About preaching

Our people need a God-besotted* man. (*having an irrational passion for a person or thing) ... they need at least one man in their life who is radically & totally focused on God & the pursuit of the knowledge of God, & the ministry of the word of God...they need a true vision of the greatness of God. They need to see the whole panorama of his excellencies.

They need to see a God-entranced man on Sunday morning & at the deacon's meeting. Robert Murray M'Cheyne said, "What my people need most is my personal holiness. That's right. But human holiness is nothing other than a God-besotted* life."

And our people need to hear God-entranced preaching. God himself needs to be the subject matter of our preaching, in his majesty & holiness & righteousness & faithfulness & sovereignty & grace. And by that I don't mean we shouldn't preach about nitty-gritty practical things like parenthood, & divorce & AIDS & gluttony & television & sex. We should indeed! What I mean is that everyone of those things should be swept right up into the holy presence of God & laid bare to the roots of its Godwardness or godlessness.

What our people need is not nice little moral, or psychological pep talks about how to get along in the world. They need to see that everything, absolutely everything - from garage sales & garbage recycling to death & demons have to do with God in all his infinite greatness. Most of our people have no one, no one in the world to placard the majesty of God for them. Therefore most of them are starved for the infinite God-entranced vision of Jonathan Edwards & they don't even know it.

Excerpted from "The Pastor as Theologian" (Life and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards) by John Piper: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1458_The_Pastor_as_Theologian/