Reformation Begins with the Pulpit
There is . . . a great need for a reformation of the evangelical pulpit. To reform the pulpit is to reform the church. What is needed is not simply more preaching, but God-enthralled, Christ-magnifying, Spirit-empowered preaching. If this is to occur, the church must regain a high view of the pulpit. As was prevalent during the Reformation, the preaching of the Word must be central in the worship of the church in this generation.
Dr. Steven Lawson points out at the Aquila Report that a second Reformation is desperately needed in our day, and that it will only come if the church has a) a high view of Scripture, b) a high view of God, and c) a high view of the pulpit. In his post, which is an excerpt from his book, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther, he focuses on the need for a reformation of the Evangelical pulpit.
In an age where pulpits have been replaced by Plexiglas stands fronting mockups of Opra’s TV stage, and where Genevan robes have been ousted for tee shirts, torn jeans, and flip flops, and where exegetical, Christ-centered preaching has given sway to “live your best life now” pep talks, we do indeed have a lot of work to do. The pulpit, though, is where this work needs to start. Dr. Lawson comments on this need:
In this critical hour of church history, pastors must recapture the glory of biblical preaching, as in the days of the Reformation. Preachers must return to true exposition that is Word-driven, God-glorifying, and Christ-exalting. May the Lord of the church raise up a new generation of expositors, men armed with the sword of the Spirit, to once again preach the Word. The plea of Spurgeon, who witnessed the decline of dynamic preaching in his lifetime, must be heard and answered in this day:
We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen’s ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the Church, and will come in due time. He has power to give us back again a golden age of preachers, and when the good old truth is once more preached by men whose lips are touched as with a live coal from off the altar, this shall be the instrument in the hand of the Spirit for bringing about a great and thorough revival of religion in the land… . I do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and the opening of men’s ears to hear it. The moment the Church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless His Churches.
You can read the rest of Dr. Lawson’s prescription here.
Labels: Doctrine of the Church