Mark Dance cuts deep with this one.
I wrote an article on preaching the other day. After finishing the last sentence I did what most of us bloggers do—I went searching for a picture to attach to the article. I went to my Google machine and searched the images for preaching. Though I’ve done this search numerous times, I noticed something on this I’d never noticed before. Most of the pictures were headless. Just a few arms holding a book and gesturing with their hands.
I thought to myself, “Wow, Google gets something that we preachers often fail to recognize—preaching isn’t about the preacher it’s about the book he is holding in his hands.” But then I paused for a moment and wondered whether or not this is actually a biblical concept. Is preaching headless?
If you’re attending TGC’s conference Monday through Wednesday, be sure to consider some of these events. Also, stop by The Gospel Project booth to say hello to the team!
We often get the relationship between theology and art reversed. We feel sorry for Christian creatives, for they are constrained (so we hear) by the corrugated edges of biblical theism. Too bad, we sigh. If they could just loosen the covenantal constraints, they could really soar. But this is the reverse of the truth. The Christian worldview, powered by biblical truth, is a foundation for enterprise and creativity unparalleled in the known world. There are depths in God that no human mind can master (see 1 Cor. 2:10). There is beauty in Christ and his self-sacrificial act that no one can fully grasp. There is serendipity in the wind-like Spirit that no one can sum up.
Childlessness is often one of the loneliest struggles a woman can walk through. It is not a visible pain. No one knows that you can’t have children, or are struggling, unless you tell them. Few, if any, know the sorrow of your heart, or how heavy and difficult this situation can be. It’s not on display for the world to see. Unconcealed trials — though still hard — make it easier for people to see that you’re suffering and come to your aid. Childlessness doesn’t enjoy such lines of sight.
I have personal experience with this trial. There are many words of encouragement I could try to speak into your soul, but these three have served to be particularly powerful for me.
Publishing is a scary business. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a video, a Facebook post, a blog a Tweet or an Instagram; whenever we press “publish” we just don’t know what’s going to happen.
Actually, come to think of it, we do. We’re going to get criticized. Sure, we may get some “Five Star Reviews, some “Likes,” “Retweets,” “Shares,” and “Hearts,” but today it’s almost certain that we’re going to get some pain mixed in as well—the pain of rejection, the pain of mockery, the pain of dismissal, the pain of critique.
A favorite from the archives:
I love reading biographies, but there are times when I feel discouraged after reading them. When I read about “spiritual giants” of the past—Luther, Edwards, Spurgeon, Augustine, and so many others—and of how God used them in their days to make the gospel known, and it becomes tempting to think they’re somehow super-Christians. That someone like me could never be like them or be used like they were.