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Preaching Methodist Theology & Biblical Truth Classic Sermons of C.K. Barrett von Witherington, Ben (eBook)

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Preaching Methodist Theology & Biblical Truth

In a sermon on St. Paul's conversion, Charles Kingsley Barrett, better known as C. K. Barrett, shows us how he views preaching. He says: There is a difference between a sermon, on the one hand, and a lecture or essay on the other. A sermon is not simply a public address on a religious subject; it is not simply an exposition of a passage of Scripture. It is these things, yet if it really is a sermon and not a lecture, it is something else too. It is a means by which God himself speaks to us.1 This is not an event the preacher can command or arrange. It is independent of his learning, his eloquence, his enthusiasm. But it does happen, and it is the only raison d'etre of preaching.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 200
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781945935282
    Verlag: Foundry Books
    Größe: 496 kBytes
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Preaching Methodist Theology & Biblical Truth

"Covenant"-Exodus 24:7; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Mark 14:24f. [Preached once at St. John's College, Durham University 1/10/06] 1 Covenant : You have heard something of the way early Methodism took up the word and used it as they developed a new service of their own; a new service or a new appreciation of an existing service. The covenant service is not a third (still less an eighth) sacrament, but a special use of the familiar sacrament of the Lord's Supper, held usually at a time, especially at the beginning of the year that gives it extra weight and a special application. Covenant : The word of course is not specifically religious, and the world is full of covenants explicit and implicit. When you come to a university there is an implicit covenant, an agreement between you and the institution. You will pay some money and accept some academic disciplines; the university will put on a teaching program for you. Marriage is a covenant. Husband and wife promise most usually love, care, loyalty, faithfulness. Covenant is a great biblical theme, and that is the main theme before us now; but there are all kinds of minor covenants that help us to understand the major one. Isaac made a covenant with Abimelech, king of the Philistines, a non-aggression pact. More personal was the covenant between David and Jonathan, a covenant of friendship. "If anyone injures you, he injures me too. We defend and support each other." But these only illustrate the great covenant theme that runs through both testaments. For that we need at least three texts (not three sermons, and there ought to be four). For the first text we go to Exod. 24:7. "Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people and they said, 'All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.' " That of course is not the beginning of the story. For that we should have to go back to Abraham, who has perhaps more right than Moses to a text of his own. But this marks the acceptance of the people as a whole, the covenant God has already made with the chosen family. The two sides of the covenant are clear and we shall have to keep them in mind throughout. The initiative is God's, and the initiative was one of sheer grace. They had done nothing to deserve it, yet God in love for their fathers and mothers chose them out of all the nations of human beings that they might be his representatives in the world, a people whose very existence, the fewest of all peoples, was a testimony to the grace and power of God. As a further gift, and as a means of sustaining their distinctness, he gave them the Law. It was a good law. Parts of it can be quietly dropped in a new civilization, who keeps the law of wearing no kind of mixed cloth or never eating pork, 2 but it was a good law. Here first, centuries before Jesus, was to quote them, one of the two primary commands: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength; and thy neighbor as thyself." So keep the Law, and the covenant lasts. Break it, and God is released from his commitment. And that should be the end of the story, but it moves on. The covenant begins in grace and deliverance. He rescues the people from their slavery in Egypt. Ungrateful, they turn in disobedience against their deliverer. "Right," says God, you may read it again and again in the Old Testament- "I've finished with you." But his love is too great for that and he can always provide a way of repentance, and then of forgiveness and renewal. But this cannot go on. The schoolmaster curses the disobedient schoolboy and threatens to expel him, relents, cautions him again, and so on. Eventually, then if the boy isn't worn out, the cane is. You need a new device. The person who saw this most clearly was a prophet, Jeremiah, and this brings us to our second text-Jer. 31:31-34: "I will make a new covenant with the

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