Sunday, September 23, 2007

TFA 07: Lessons from the past

Mark is known to be something of an expert on the Puritans. In this first lecture he painted very broad very fast brushstrokes of the church scene in the 1630s, which was very interesting if you knew something of that period of history and had read some of Richard Sibbes' work, but it was hard to take notes on and even harder to then blog those notes! So i'll just share Mark's conclusions from this session.

1) Preaching is more fundemental than polity.
Structure is not key, but the Gospel is. Denomonations are pragmatic. What we have in common far outweighs what we don't. The scottish baptist, the american charismatic and the brazilian missionary all preach the Gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

2) Preaching is more generative than discipline.
Thats how God creates life. The preaching of the Gospel is what the Holy Spirit uses to bring about generation. We must make non Christians feel at home in the church, but not at the cost of the Gospel.

3) Preaching is more substantial than liturgy.
Sibbes said that servive order and other forms of devotions should be 'shunted aside' and preaching should be central.

4) Preaching is more important that sacrements.
Preaching the Gospel brings meaning to baptism and the Lords supper. The Word is needed to interpret action. You have to actual preach the Gospel to preach the Gospel! Preaching should be central to the church meeting.

1 comment:

thebluefish said...

Amen. How does that then work in practice?