several doctrines of the faiths in their relations to one another, and especially to the central theme of theology , the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The more refined and reflective the age, the more it requires reasons for feeling. Imagination, as exercised in poetry and eloquence and as exhibited in politics or war, is not less strong than of old ? it is only more rational. Notice the progress from ?Buncombe?, in legislative and forensic oratory, to sensible and logical address. Bassanio in Shakespeare?s Merchant of Venice 1:1:113 ?Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing his reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff .? So in pulpit oratory, mere Scripture quotation and fervid appeal are no longer sufficient. As well be a howling dervish, as to indulge in windy declaration. Thought is the staple of preaching. Feeling must be roused, but only by bringing men to ?the knowledge of the truth? ( <550225>2 Timothy 2:25). The preacher must furnish the basis for feeling by producing intelligent conviction. He must instruct before he can move. If the object of the preacher is first to know God, and secondly to make God known, then the study of theology is absolutely necessary to his success.
Shall the physician practice medicine without study of physiology, or the lawyer practice law without study ofjurisprudence? Professor Blackie: ?One may as well expect to make a great patriot out of a fencing master. as to make a great orator out of a mere rhetorician.? The preacher needs doctrine, to prevent his being a mere barrel ? organ, playing over and over the same tunes. John Henry Newman: ?The false preacher is one who has to say something; the true preacher is one who has something to say.? Spurgeon, Autobiography, 1:167 ? ?Constant change of creed is sure loss.
If a tree has to be taken up two or three times a year, you will not need to build a very large loft in which to store the apples. When people are shifting their doctrinal principles, they do not bring forth much fruit...We shall never have great preachers till we have great divines. You cannot build a man of war out of a currant bush, nor can great soul moving preachers be formed out of superficial students.? Illustrate the harmfulness of ignorant and erroneous preaching, by the mistake in a physician?s prescription; by the wrong trail at Lake Placid which led astray those ascending Whiteface; by the sowing of acorns whose crop was gathered only after a hundred years. Slight divergences from correct doctrine on our part may be ruinously exaggerated in those who come
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