T. David Gordon on Christian Proclamation

Pastors and all Bible teachers use many words. Just think, if a pastor preaches or teaches 50 weeks a year and each of those weeks includes an hour and a half of sermons or classroom style teaching, then that would be 75 hours of words used to talk about God. That is more than three full days of talking about God. Christian proclamation is a big deal because our words either represent God correctly or sadly misrepresent him. To misrepresent a person’s ideas is one thing, but to misrepresent God’s Word is quite another thing.

T. David Gordon, a professor at Grove City College, encourages those who proclaim the Word of God to not waste their words on things that are here today and gone tomorrow. This quote comes from page 60 of his book titled Why Johnny Can’t Preach:

What would make a difference would be Christian proclamation that is consequential, that is concerned less with current events than with the history-encompassing events of creation, fall, and redemption. What would make a difference would be Christian proclamation that did not panic every time a court rendered a decision on some pet geopolitical concern, but called our attention instead to the certain judgement of God, with whom we have to do. What would make a difference would be Christian proclamation that was less concerned with “how-to” and more concerned with “why-to,” why humans are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. What might make a difference would be Christian proclamation that was less concerned with the latest news from the Beltway, and more concerned with the stunning and perennial good news that God in Christ is reconciling sinners to himself. But any one of these preferred alternatives requires a sensibility for the significant; a capacity to distinguish the weighty from the light, and the consequential from the trivial.

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