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Francis Grimké on the Minister’s Character

 

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I am thrilled about the forthcoming publication of Francis J.Grimké’s “Meditations on Preaching” by Log College Press.

In the third volume of his collected works, Grimké (1852-1937) spoke frankly about the minister’s moral character:

A minister who is but poorly equipped intellectually, educationally, but who is of good moral character, and of real piety, is greatly to be preferred to the man, however well equipped intellectually and educationally, but who is of questionable character, whose ways are crooked. The one may have to be tolerated, the other should never be: the ministry of the one may result in good, of the other only harm can come. Such a minister discredits the gospel, and becomes an obstacle in the way of the progress of the kingdom of God. A godless minister, an immoral minister, should be nowhere tolerated, should be driven out of all of the churches. We need in the ministry, intelligent men, educated men, but above all God-fearing men,—morally clean men. Where such is not the case, the responsibility rests upon the officials of the churches, and ultimately upon the people who fill the pews and who furnish the means for carrying on the work in the churches. The toleration of immoral, godless ministers is always, therefore, a reflection upon the character of the people themselves, and is a pretty good index of their own characters.*

Grimké served as pastor of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C . First year preaching students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to his life, ministry, and writings through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors.

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*Francis J. Grimké, The Works of Francis J. Grimké, vol. 3, ed. by Carter G. Woodson (Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 121.

John Johnson Lectures at RTS Jackson

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John Johnson lectures on pastoral leadership in African American churches. His presentation is full of informative history and practical exhortations to loving and courageous pastoral leadership.

Pastor Johnson has served St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville, Mississippi for 17 years. On Easter he preaches his first sermon as the newly elected pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.

Abhorring Sin

The difference between speaking out against sin and abhorring sin, from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress:
Talkative: “What difference is there between crying out against, and abhorring of Sin?
Faithful: Oh! a great deal: A man may cry out against Sin, of Policy, but he cannot abhor it but by virtue of a godly antipathy against it: I have heard many cry out again Sin in the Pulpit, who yet can abide it well enough in the Heart, House, and Conversation.
– John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress. 1678 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2005), 89-90

The Missing Word

“There’s a word missing from the presentation of our modern gospel. It’s the word repent . . . If we want to give people a message that saves, instead of one that only soothes, we must preach more like Jesus and less like our pop stars.”

Good words from Kevin DeYoung.

Preaching: The Great Thing To Be Done First

“All modes of preaching must be erroneous, which do not lead sinners to feel that the great thing to be done, and done first, is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and to turn to God through him. And all religious experience must be defective, which does not embrace distinctly a sense of the justice of our condemnation, and a conviction of the sufficiency of the work of Christ, and an exclusive reliance upon it as such.”
 
– Charles Hodge, quoted in William S. Plumer, Commentary on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Co., 1870), 144.

The Chief End of Preaching

“What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this. It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence. . . . I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Savior, and the magnificence of the gospel.”
– D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 110-111.

Loving Those To Whom We Preach

“To love to preach is one thing, to love those to whom we preach quite another.”
– Richard Cecil, quoted in D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 105.