3, No. 1
Message from the President: The Way
I See It
D. Klaus, D.Min.
President, Professor of Intercultural Leadership
Assemblies of God Theological
The late Scottish preacher, Dr. Ian Pitt-Watson, has provided
keen insight into preaching in his volume Preaching:
A Kind of Folly. The book title is taken from 1 Corinthians
1:21 (KJV) which describes the folly of the gospel as “the
foolishness of preaching.” While this text is a less
than a clear use of wording, this passage should not be an
excuse to foster incompetence. He does admit, and I agree,
that preaching is simply hard to figure out. What is preaching’s
logic? Its goal? Is it even viable communication in a post-Christian
world? Or appropriate in those areas hostile to Christianity?
Pitt-Watson’s affirmation of preaching’s being
central to the church’s life and the heart of Christian
theology, begins with the perspective that the preacher first
believe preaching is critical to ministry done in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acquiring preaching skills matters
little, and is unlikely to persuade anyone, if the preacher
doesn’t believe in the priority and efficacy of preaching.
How the preacher is involved as a bridge between what God
has spoken and the application of that message to a contemporary
context is filled with awe and mystery. Yet, regardless of
one’s particular faith tradition, preaching has been
affirmed as central to the church.
My guess is that Dr. Pitt-Watson is right. Preaching is
not a dated strategy. However, preaching does need to regain
a foothold in the perception of countless church leaders
who seem to think that gospel proclamation is merely a strategy
that rises and falls in relevance depending on cultural context.
The Word of the Lord rightly interpreted and confidently
proclaimed has long usage and affirmation both in the Bible
and Christian history. While the challenges of the twenty-first
century are unique, they are not sufficient to neutralize
the mandate Paul gave to Timothy: “I solemnly charge
you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus...preach the
word” (2 Timothy 4:1-2, NASB).
Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM