, , , , , , , , ,

William M. Taylor’s The Ministry of the Word, 1876, has a useful discussion of preaching to the contemporary age. His insights are useful precisely because he is writing 140 years ago.  First, he mentions a point which is the thesis of David Wells’ God in the Whirlwind, namely that holiness and love must never be parted in our understanding and presentation of Christianity. As Taylor writes

Let us take care lest in our preaching we “put asunder” those two things which God has so thoroughly joined together. We must not exalt love without making mention of the righteousness..But neither, on the other hand, must we exalt the righteousness in such as as to obscure love. In the once case the Gospel will be made to wear an aspect of indifference to evil …. In the other it will be made to assume an appearance of terror ….But when we give each element its proper prominence, the love attracts to God, and the righteousness restrains from sin. [p. 90]

Next, he broaches the issue of what do our contemporaries need. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones was found of saying the Bible is the most up to date book:

The preaching most adapted to any age is the preaching of the Gospel ….That is the Gospel which every age needs, and its adaption to the human heart is made gloriously apparent wherever it is earnestly proclaimed. [91]

He then well quotes Maclaren:

“Perhaps the trust adaptation of a message to its wants, is to bring into prominence what it overlooks, and to emphasize the proclamation of what it does not believe.” [92]