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Wilson on Authoritative Preaching

Here is another excerpt from Wilson’s A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking. Here he is critiquing our current culture’s view of humility and arrogance.

“We see the same thing in the conflict between biblical and modern theories of preaching. The biblical preacher is a herald, a steward. He has been entrusted to declare something that would have been true if he had never been born. He is to preach it with a strong view of his own ultimate irrelevance. He is to get into the pulpit and say, ‘Thus says the Lord.’ And to the modern world, this is insufferable arrogance.

In stark contrast with this, a modern pretty boy preacher – excuse me, a pretty boy communicator – gets up front and can talk about himself the entire time he is there. He is open, transparent, honest, and emotionally approachable. He is humble, or so it is thought. The evidence? He is humble because he talked about himself a lot. And the other one, the insufferable one, he must think he has a personal pipeline to God. He must think that God wrote a book or something . . . wait.” (p. 23)

We do see too much pride in the pulpit. We must fight the selfish pride that wells up within us. But we must also realize that certainty about what God has said is not arrogance. As Wilson rightly notes later “Arrogance is the sin of assuming yourself to be in the right without warrant from the Word of God” (p. 25). Let us be humble about ourselves, by talking most about Christ and holding fast to his authority unconcerned about the praise of man.

One Comment

  1. Jeff Lash says:

    There is a sad irony to Wilson's observation. And yet it shouldn't really surprise us. It is not our "arrogance" that bothers people in the end. It really has more to do with the fact that they want nothing to do with God. This antipathy toward God plays out as a bias in their view of humility and arrogance. So where some might say they oppose the arrogant in this scenario, they really should they simply oppose God and His Word. It seems to me that this would be more consistent and transparent…though extremely sad.

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