Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Hubbub of Preachers (1)

I am not sure what you call a group of preachers (a hubbub?) but last week I enjoyed speaking at the Evangelical Homiletics Conference (at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). The title was "Connecting Preaching and Worship" - just up my alley!

I took advantage of the two main sessions to describe my last five years' journey as a preacher and teacher of preachers. About how my settled life of teaching and writing was suddenly disturbed by a serious ambush. I was attacked by what I call a "gang of four." These four forces circled me and closed in, demanding that I take all them seriously. They didn't line up and ask politely to be noticed in turn. They formed a posse and coerced my response.

The four? (1) Big-picture worship that refused to be pushed to one side as less important than preaching. (2) Trinitarian theology that demanded it be given full reign to explain both preaching and worship. (3) Scripture that shouted loudly it wasn't just for sermons but the whole of worship. (4) Community Formation that insisted on building a people together like living stones (1 Pet. 2:1-12).

I raced through my story in a couple of hours describing how this gang of four brought me to a new place of understanding. I am sure many at the conference were really surprised at the way it developed. But the special part, for me, was the third plenary session when two academics responded to my lectures. I'll post a couple of issues they raised next.

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