Thursday, August 23, 2007

Preaching Just to Hear my Own Voice...

In the introduction of all of his commentaries / book-form sermons, Kent Hughes has some really good words for those who preach. He writes of a certain 'train-conductor' syndrome amongst preachers. That is, much like train conductors who have spent their lives announcing arrivals at specific destinations but who have never really seen the places which they have spoken of so loudly, Gospel heralds must beware of proclaiming glorious truth(s) which have not taken root in their souls. We can repeat things so often that the dissemination of eternal riches becomes mundane or lacking in 'first-hand' perspective.

You might have seen the pictures (see below) of me in sales mode for Memoria Press at a homeschool convention. I have learned a great deal about the products that we offer by being immersed in training for these conventions. Yet, I often found myself wanting to state half-truths or to feign knowledge when all I had was sheer ignorance. So, if someone came up to my table and wanted to know general product information, no problem. I'm your man. It starts to feel quite good to have hundreds of people listen eagerly as you lay out a defense of classical education or tout a certain product for its proven qualities.

The problem is, I am thoroughly ignorant of Latin. I have never had first-hand experience of classical education, and even though I often acted otherwise, I don't know how a Latin Teacher's manual really works on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis. It all had to stop when my wife caught me trying to answer a specific question about Latin grammar. Sure, I might have saved face by giving a short, 'neutral' answer, but I was really lying - fearing people.

So, for now, we are reading Ed Welch's helpful book When People are Big and God is Small, which I have wanted to read for years. And, I pray that, as the Puritans have reminded me, I would always preach with a 'feeling sense' of every truth I speak.

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