Friday, 24 April 2009

Men who can preach

Here's a good word from the Pyros about effeminate preachers and how they appeal to no-one. Some good defences of aggression and power in the pulpit.

As usual Spurgeon get to pull on a jersey and kick the ball down the field:

Spurgeon hated the effeminate tendencies of the Victorian pulpit, and he did everything he could to model a different trend. He said it's OK to be meek, and we ought to work hard at being gentle. But, he said, don't be "indifferent to truth and righteousness. God [does not choose] milksops destitute of backbone, to wear his glory upon their faces. We have plenty of men made of sugar, nowadays, that melt into the stream of popular opinion; but [men like that will] never ascend into the hill of the Lord."


Al Bain said...

Interesting. What, in your view, are the characteristics of an effeminate preacher?

Gordon Cheng said...

If you click through to Spurgeon's sermon on the matter, he gives some funny examples.

Of course, any individual characteristic you pick on could be seen merely as a minor individual quirk, or possibly as a cruel and insensitive pointing out of a speech impediment!

But if you dig beneath to get the vibe, it really probably has to do with to great a concern for the reaction of the listener, especially in the matter of giving offence over unpalatable truths.

It just sounds a bit boring when you put it like that.

I remember once hearing a long-winded sermon on Exodus 15 where the speaker apologetically explained the details of horses and riders being thrown into the sea. It was academic. It was boring. It was dead. To preach it as a man, I think, means rejoicing in what the singer (yes, I know it was Miriam) rejoiced in—the catastrophic destruction of the enemies of God.

Al Bain said...

I see Gordon. Thanks. At first blush I was wondering if you were worried about a high pitched voice or some other idiosyncracy. I'm pleased that you aren't issuing a call to retrosexuality :)

I think you're right, though, about preaching like a man. It involves preaching with strength, power, bluntness (brute force if necessary) and calling a spade a freakin shovel!! Sometimes I feel like issung a M warning on some of the stuff I preach on. Scripture drives me to it.

My only caveat to that would be that we need to remember that there is a "romance" and a gentle winsomeness to the gospel. We need to work hard that we don't lose that as we preach as men.

To be totally inflammatory - In what I've heard of Driscoll's preaching, he lacks this "romance". It's not often (if at all) that I have heard him and been "won over" again by the gospel. Keller (again in my experience) is more on the mark with that I think.