Thursday, December 27, 2007

Altogether unearthly

William C. Burns was preaching in Perth, Scotland, in 1840. His biographer writes,

"The power indeed that attended his words, and the effects which often in the most unexpected quarters followed them, was at this time most remarkable. 'I never thought,' exclaimed a strong, careless man, who had heard him, 'to have been so much affected; it is surely something altogether unearthly that has come to the town.'"

Taken from Islay Burns, Memoir of the Rev. Wm. C. Burns, page 144.

Cultural relevance in preaching is good. I don't want to preach to yesterday. God has made me responsible to the actual people around me. I accept that. I like it. I want to get better at it. But there is more. Shouldn't a message from the King make people say, "Something altogether unearthly has come to us, something from far away, beyond ourselves. That's why it's so helpful"?

I want to re-learn how to preach.