We don’t need better preaching, we need a better gospel.
Yes I’m being provocative and hyperbolous. Let me remind you that this is a blog.
What I mean is this: there’s a lot of focus on becoming better preachers. The real need is to preach a better gospel.
These thoughts were prompted by a Spurgeon comment as quoted by CJ Mahaney at T4G 2008:
“Whitefield and Wesley might preach the gospel better but they cannot preach a better gospel.”
Spurgeon’s point is that the power is in the gospel, not the preacher. Amen. But if the gospel preached aint the gospel, then we need a better one.
‘Better gospel?’ you ask – how can you improve on the good news?
Well you can’t improve on the biblical gospel. But you can darned well improve on the gospel preached by some. Here’s a false one I hear around the traps (there are others, but this is the devil I know best):
‘God is power. We must submit. Since we don’t, God has a plan B. It’s a wonderfully clever mechanism called penal substitutionary atonement. For those who profess faith in penal substitutionary atonement (and submit the whole of their lives to God in total self-surrender and who pass on this ‘gospel’ and persevere to the bitter end), then… well… they will avoid hell. Probably.’
Lord save us from well illustrated and applied, passionate, persuasive and prayerful preaching of this ‘gospel’. Remember that the evangelism of the Pharisees made converts twice as much sons of hell as they were. (Matt 23:15)
What a thought! The perversion of a false gospel is multiplied in those it converts. Preachers – don’t work on your preaching, work on your gospel.