Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

"What Christ asks of His disciples is not so much exposition of doctrine about Him as witness to His power. Now witness to His power can be given by the most illiterate if he has had experience of it. It does not require long training for a man to say: 'Whereas I was blind now I see', even though he may be compelled when asked: 'What sayest thou of Him?' to answer: 'I know not.' Such a man was quite prepared to say: 'I believe' and to worship, when told that his Healer was the Son of God. Christ did not require any long training in doctrine when He said to the Demoniac of Gadara: 'Go and tell how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and how He had mercy on thee.'

I remember a missionary in India telling me that most of the converts in his district were brought in by extremely illiterate men. He said: 'The villagers look at them and say, "We know what you were, we can see what you are; what has made the difference?" These men cannot preach sermons,' he said, 'but they know enough to answer, "Christ", and the result is men are converted to Christ.' I do not remember that he told me that many evil results followed, or that doctrine suffered from such witness. The truth is that such witness is a preaching of the doctrine, and of the true doctrine. The doctrine is implied in the witness, though it may not be intellectually apprehended. It is far more true preaching of the doctrine than a long discourse on the Divinity of Christ."

From The Spontaneous Expansion of The Church by Roland Allen pp. 53-54


Alan Knox said...

Great quote, Theron! This raises the question, "What exactly did Paul mean when we said to preach to word?" Did have a 30-45 minute homily in mind, or did he mean to proclaim Christ? I think he meant to proclaim Christ.


Lew A said...


Thanks for this quote. Dan and I were discussing what "preaching" actually is on our car ride home Saturday night. It is interesting that you posted this on the same day.

God's Glory,

Steve Sensenig said...

For quite some time, now, I have questioned the "Preach the Word" defense of our present-day use of preaching monologue sermons.

I'm glad to see others asking the same question. Personally, I think that "the Word" is a really unwise name for the Bible. It confuses way too many issues, and draws our attention away from the one that John 1 calls "the Word" -- Jesus himself.

Besides, when Paul says "preach the Word", in that very same context (just the previous chapter, which as we all know is an artificial division), Paul talks about "the Scriptures", which at the time of his writing was only what we call the Old Testament. So, even if he really meant "the Bible"...well, you get my point.

Somehow I have a very hard time thinking that when Paul said "preach the Word", he was referring to the very letter he was writing.

Oh, the joys of anachronistic interpretation, though....