Lessons on Preaching from Lloyd-Jones (3)

The greatest benefit I received from this book is what I would call the aliveness of preaching – by that I mean the vivid sense that preaching is, in the very moment in which it is happening, a living address from God to his people.  It is the platform for a divine-human encounter – the occasion for God coming down among his people in a unique and powerful way.  Hence his language of “the element of attack” in a sermon (71), his assertion that the ultimate goal of preaching is to “give men and women a sense of God” (97), his statements about how preaching is an “exchange” between the preacher and the audience (84) during which you never really know where the sermon is going to end up (80), and so forth.  I think this is also at the root of his concerns against note-taking, sermon recording, technique practicing, etc. (18, 119, elsewhere) – as well as his warning against “light entertainment, easy familiarity, and jocularity” (140).  Even if we don’t draw the lines in exactly the same places as Lloyd-Jones on all of these specific matters, I think we can learn a lot from his concerns.  Preaching is holy.  In preaching a divine-human encounter is created.  We must handle this sacred task with sobriety and humility and earnestness.

This book helps remind me of what a sacred matter it is to preach, and makes me long to do it better. My final quote: “preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire” (97).  Oh, that one day I could do that!

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  1. You already do preach wonderfully and on fire in your confident quietness –at least in your “Justification vs. Accusations” sermon this month!

    However, just now trying to encourage you, I could only remember accusations, so need to go listen again (despite Lloyd-Jones’ apparent exhortation to not record) so that I can hear once again.

    I liked my exhortation in this writing today about note-taking–of which I am hugely involved in order to pay attention. But maybe I am missing the spirit of the message sometimes! Lord, lead me in hearing YOU, not just words.

    Yesterday the Lord encouraged me with an excerpt from your grandma Ann Ortlund amongst one of the “Joy For the Journey” book regarding finding God in every circumstance and the fact that even in “horrid” news “nothing has changed with the Lord. He loves me. His eternal, perfect plans for me are continuing on schedule and thus I will praise You; I will worship You. I will rest in all You’re continuing to do in my life.”

    Gavin and Esther, just rest in the LORD. You two are so cute! Praise God He brought us you! I am refreshed in your love of Him and of each other!