In Other News…

… it’s reading week here at CRTS. There are only two items that must be completed, a book review and some Hebrew homework, but there’s a bunch of stuff coming up that I’m also working towards. Next week Friday we’ll be tested on our knowledge of the Belgic Confession. That means knowing the subject of each article, as well as a short summary of the article’s argument. Along those same lines, I’ve got a research paper due on BC article 28 at the end of March, and it’d be nice to get some of the grunt work out of the way. If I get most of the research done this week, then all that’s left is the writing of the paper. Also, although I’ve got my chapel presentation written, I’m toying with the idea of writing a different one, just for the sake of having a couple different options. My chapel is in two weeks, and my in-laws will be attending, so it better be good.

It’s a pleasure writing book reviews. It’s a great opportunity to engage with what the author has written, to argue with him where he’s gone wrong, and to praise him where he writes truthfully. We were given a suggested list of books to choose from, but if we had another book in mind, that was fine, too. Either way, it had to be a book on preaching. Since the books on the list were among the best books ever written on the subject, I chose one of them, John Stott’s Between Two Worlds. I had read about ¾ through in the summer, so I knew both that I’d like it, and that I’d have some good material to engage with. Nevertheless, I don’t remember much of the content so I’m reading it through again from the beginning.

Here’s a great quote that is encouraging in its broad perspective:

“Whether the preacher is addressing a large congregation in a modern town church, or occupies an ancient pulpit in an ancient European village church, or is huddled with a tiny remnant in the draughty corner of a dilapidated old edifice which has long since outgrown its usefulness, or is talking to a crowd of peasants in a hut in Latin America or under some trees in Africa, or is sitting informally in a western home with a small group gathered around him – yet, with all these diversities, very much remains the same. We have the same Word of God, and the same human beings, and the same fallible preacher called by the same living God to study both the Word and the world in order to relate the one to the other with honesty, conviction, courage and meekness” (p. 11).

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2 thoughts on “In Other News…

  1. Hey Jeremy,

    Just discovered this blog in recent days (I wonder why? :)).
    Anyways in this reading report you must commend Stott on his periodic humour (which is too periodic in my opinion) in this book. However good humour with solid content goes a long way to endear a book to a reader like me. Worthy of mention would be:
    – p.147: “Christ said ‘Feed my sheep… Feed my lambs.’ Some preachers, however, put the food so high that neither lambs nor sheep can reach it. They seem to have read the text, ‘Feed my giraffes.'”
    – or the short story on p. 211: “There was a young American Presbyterian minister, whose besetting sin was not laziness, but conceit. He frequently boasted in public that all the time he needed to prepare his Sunday sermon was the few minutes it took him to walk to church from his manse next door. Perhaps you can guess what his elders did: they bought him a manse five miles away!”

    Calvin

    • Calvin,

      I like your thinking. Another one that both Arenda and I chuckled at was on the bottom of page 52, where he discusses how the vocabulary surrounding the pulpit has changed: “‘To preach’ has come to mean ‘to give advice in an offensive, tedious, or obstrusive manner’, while to be ‘sermonic’ is to inflict on someone a patronizing harangue.”

      It seems the lexical odds are against us.

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