Monday, October 4, 2010

Bring the Heat

We must not equate passion with style. But we must have hearts aflame with passion. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones famously defined preaching as, "Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! . . . Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire."

The story is told that when W.E. Sangster was interviewing a candidate for the ministry, the nervous young man explained that he was quite shy and not the sort of person ever to set the River Thames on fire. "My dear young brother," responded Sangster, "I'm not interested to know if you could set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: if I picked you up by the scruff of your neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?"

Never mind his eloquence; was he himself on fire?

-- from Christopher Ash, The Priority of Preaching (p.67)

When on Sunday morning, then, when you go out before their faces, we must walk up not worn out with misery but full of Christ, hot with Christ, on fire: burn them with the force of our belief.

-- John Updike, Rabbit, Run


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Jared. Other than prayer, what do you recommend for developing a stronger passion for Christ. I know we we can't set ourselves on fire so to speak, but what can we do to prepare ourselves to experience Christ more viscerally.



Jared said...

Mike, good question. The only cause of gospel passion I know is receiving God's revelation into our brokenness. So the prescription is "be broken" and "hear the gospel."

Being broken is typically something that happens to us, though, so in order to be ready, the only thing to do is to put ourselves in the crosshairs of the gospel daily. Drink deeply from Scripture every day and put self under gospel preaching that has unction.