Is the Preacher Nothing More than a Tool?

A-hem. Please don’t answer that too quickly. While most of us are tools in one way or another, I am thinking in a more gracious way.

I have heard of a preacher who would pray:

“Get past me to the people. Get the people past me to you.”

I am not sure that is an entirely proper prayer. It’s true, we don’t want our idiosyncrasies to get in the way of the glorious message of the Gospel, it is these very idiosyncrasies that highlight the beauty and glory of the Gospel. That is, in my frailty and stupidity, the Lord magnifies his ability to save the most dignified from the most abased.

Analogous to Romans 6, that doesn’t mean we multiply our transgressions through off-the-cuff preaching and lack of preparation. Me genoita! Rather, may we work diligently to train and rightly divide the Word of God. But may we never forget that preaching comes through time and space and person. You preach Romans 6 one way an I another way–giving the same authorial intent (I pray!). But your eyes highlight certain truths and mine others. We can never give a sterile and entirely objective interpretation of Scripture.

Rather than kicking against those goads, perhaps the Lord would have us consider the fact that he chooses tall men, short men, skinny men, and fat men to bring the diversity and beauty of Scripture to bear on people. It is not a matter of getting past the preacher, but it is seeing the magnificence of God through the preacher.

Would you agree or disagree with this assessment?

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