They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. -Mark 1:21, 22
(Tim: this is third in an ongoing series, with the first here and the second here) Whether in classroom discussions, the dorm late at night, our accountant’s office, or coffee with a neighbor, the believer is hard pressed on all sides to give up truth. The radical relativism that permeates our world is absolutely antithetical to Scripture. Those seeking to preach Scripture faithfully will immediately face the world's dogmatic declaration that there is no truth--only stories, perspectives, and narratives; only my truth and your truth.
The intensity of the opposition we face is directly related to our faithfulness in preaching God’s Word with a form of delivery and content that is contextualized to the end that it appears radically authoritative to those acclimated to an effeminate relativism. Or, to put it another way, in our world one way to judge whether of not a preacher is a faithful servant of God is whether he is accused of arrogance. A faithful man will employ a method and content that bears witness to his faith that he is not communicating the words of men, but of God. With Calvin, he will declare that preaching is the Word of God. And the world has no way of understanding such declarations as anything but an arrogance that's sick and pathetic.
My wife and I were out for dinner one night. As we prepared to leave, we struck up a conversation with another couple at an adjoining table. In their mid-seventies, both were strikingly tall and dignified. During the preliminary small talk, we learned they had been married fifteen years, were from the Pacific Northwest, had several children from previous marriages, and he'd spent fifty years working as a computer programmer.
Our deeper conversation started with the woman exclaiming over the beauty of the ocean. She had learned I was a pastor and, trying to relate to us on a spiritual level, she told us how the sea gave her permission to commune with God as “she” rather than “he...”