Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Theology with a Paintbrush in Hand

Not long ago, I  was laboring in the backyard with a paintbrush in hand going to work on a bookcase.

I am hoping the paint holds.

You see I was too lazy to do a little sanding. That means the previous coat may not take paint well and the coats I am putting on may not adhere well.

Time will tell.

Theology, like lazy paint jobs, typically doesn't do well if you don't have a good foundation of preparation. A lot of things look good on the surface. They preach well.

But  if you don't  do the initial work of theological preparation, textual analysis, and cultural reflection, your message will not stick. It may sound good on the surface, but it will fall short of actual preaching because it fails to proclaim truth to the hearer in their life context.

And when you fail at this task, you won't simply need to repaint a bookcase. You will be left trying to salvage the life of someone who was told to believe something that wasn't actually true.

This is why James says that not many should desire to be teachers because we will be be judged by a higher standard (James 3:1).

So dear pastor, don't forget to sand before you paint.

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