December 1, 2009

Theology v. Preaching

I hold a backward theology of salvation. If it is true that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God" than we were all saved 2000 years ago in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Our free will, however, allows us to reject that salvation as we choose as individuals whether Jesus or something/one is Lord.

This Sunday seems like a good time to talk about this concept. The Baruch text almost asks for it as it is read in concert with the prophecy about JBap, but I'm not convinced that the pulpit is the place for such conversations.

To me, there seems to be a difference between the tasks of preaching and theological education. Or at least sometimes there is. All preaching is theological education but not all theological education is preaching. And sometimes the real art of preaching is knowing the difference.

To preach my own personal soteriology (theology of salvation) seems like a) a power play and b) useless. It is a power play because I have the pulpit and nobody else gets a word. So whatever I say is supposed to be true, and there is a fairly good chance my soteriology isn't. It is useless because if it stops there it lacks a "so what" piece, and even though I often lack it, every good sermon needs a "so what" piece.

So anyway, today I'm pondering the difference between theology and preaching. May God grant me the ability to get out of my head and preach from my heart. Amen.

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