A Jagged Word

Big Wave

“When theology operates out of its center, justification by faith alone, the first result is that theology is for preaching. After all, if it is by faith alone, the immediate question is: “then how do I get that faith?” The answer is simple and profound: God sends a preacher. Yet that simple answer annoys the world to no end. If faith comes by preaching, and preaching by a preacher, then faith is not like a decision, leap, understanding or effort of my own, it awaits another. But waiting for a preacher is like waiting for Godot. What if he never comes? What if I don’t like him when he arrives? And what do I do in the meantime? Waiting to receive freedom that we do not have seems worse than the slavery we do have, just as years in the Sinai made the Israelites think fondly about Egypt. No wonder so few apparently believe—getting faith is out of their hands in the realm of historical accidents that reasonable human beings spend their days trying to avoid, just as they try to avoid a car accident or hail storm.”

Steven D. Paulson, “Categorical Preaching”