Monday, January 11, 2010

Stott's Theological Convictions for Preaching

In Between Two worlds (Stott, John R. W. Between Two Worlds The Challenge of Preaching Today. Boston: Wm. B. Eerdmans Company, 1994), Stott begins his chapter entitled Theological Foundations for Preaching with this: "In a world which seems either unwilling or unable to listen, how can we be persuaded to go on preaching, and to learn how to do so effectively? The essential secret is not mastering certain techniques but being mastered by certain convictions." (92)

For Stott, these convictions fall under 5 headings: God, Scripture, church, pastorate, and preaching. Here are some quotes from each heading.

A Conviction about God
"A Christian must be at least an amateur theologian before he can aspire to be a preacher." (93)

A Conviction about Scripture
"Our responsibility as preachers now begins to emerge. This is not primarily to give our twentieth-century testimony to Jesus (most Western preaching today tends to be too subjective), but rather to relay with faithfulness to the twentieth century (and endorse from our own experience) the only authoritative witness there is namely God's own witness to Christ through the first-century apostolic eye-witnesses." (98)

A Conviction about the Church
"Doubtless we have numerous convictions about the Church. But for my purpose I have only this one in mind, that the Church is the creation of God by his Word. Moreover, God's new creation (the Church) is as dependent upon his Word as his old creation (the universe). Not only has he brought it into being by his Word, but he maintains and sustains it, directs and sanctifies it, reforms and renews it through the same Word. The Word of God is the sceptre by which Christ rules the Church and the food with which he nourishes it." (109)

A Conviction about the Pastorate
"In this situation, it is urgent to reassert the New Testament teaching that Jesus Christ still gives overseers to his Church and intends them to be permanent features of his Church's structure." (116)
""Moreover, gifted lay people should be encouraged to join the team, and exercise their ministry in a voluntary capacity according to their gifts. One of these is preaching, and the Church needs many more lay preachers." (121)

A conviction about Preaching
"It is my contention that all true Christian preaching is expository preaching." (125)

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