How Blood-Earnest Should a Preacher Be?

How Blood-Earnest Should a Preacher Be?

If we fixate upon the tone of the service—stamping out laughter and mirth—making sure we have the proper atmosphere of being around the holy, we’ll never arrive at anything more than contrived stillness. Because when you focus upon being blood-earnest you’re no longer really preaching.

C.S. Lewis once spoke about the difficulty of sustaining worship. Worship by it’s very nature is a looking outside of ourselves. As soon as we start thinking about worship we end up not worshipping, this is how Lewis said it:

The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing than worshipping.

I was thinking about that Lewis quote recently while thinking through this address by John Piper on The Gravity and Gladness of Preaching. Piper is trying to make an argument for a seriousness to our preaching that conveys both the gladness and happiness and joy that we have in Christ but which moves away from frivolity or levity.

I’ve gleaned so much from John Piper over the years. I believe his blood-earnestness in preaching has had such a great impact upon me. The seriousness with which he considers the glory of God is helpful and challenging. And that is, I believe, what Piper is attempting to communicate in this lecture on preaching.

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