Sunday, July 15, 2007

Preaching and I Corinthians 13

William Barclay says of preachers in his comments on I Cor. 13:
There are two kinds of preachers. There is the preacher whose one aim is to save the souls of his people, and who woos them and yearns over them with the accents of love. Of no one was that more true than of Paul himself. Myers, in his poem
St. Paul, draws the picture of Paul looking at the Christ-less world.

Then with a thrill the intolerable craving
Shivers throughout me like a trumpet call--

O to save these--to perish for their saving--
Die for their lives, be offered for them all

On the other hand, there is the preacher who dangles his hearers over the flames of hell and always give the impressions that he would rejoice in their damnation as much as in their salvation. It is told that Sir George Adam Smith once asked a member of the Greek Church, which has suffered much at the hands of Islam, why God had created so many [Muslims] and received the answer, "To fill up hell." The preaching which is all threat and no love may terrify but it will not save. (DSB)

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