Posted by: jondpayne | September 4, 2008

Calvin’s Thoughts on Preaching

In his classic book entitled Calvin’s Preaching, T.H.L. Parker provides insight into the Genevan Reformer’s thoughts on what, in part, qualifies a man to preach God’s Word.  He states:

“The qualifications of a preacher, according to Calvin, arise out of this single-minded, single-hearted adherence to Scripture.  The first is humility, and that in two senses.  Faith, or trust, in Scripture implies submission.  As we have seen, it involves subjecting the reason even to anything that seems irrational.  And what is submitted to inwardly is also treated as sovereign in the pulpit.  To preach one’s own idea is the mark of pride; not simply in that it implies that one is more clever or better informed or more spiritual than the congregation, but far more in relation to God, as showing that we know better than the Bible and thus than God.  For Calvin the message of Scripture is sovereign, sovereign over congregation and sovereign over the preacher.  His humility is shown by his submitting to this authority.” (p. 39)

May our hearts be encouraged and captured by Calvin’s God-glorifying vision for preaching!  And may we recover a view of preaching that demonstrates the Word’s power, sufficiency, and efficacy for both the spiritual and numerical growth of God’s kingdom.

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