Thursday, May 08, 2008

How they are to hear without someone preaching?

Today, in my morning worship, the section of scripture was Romans 9-11 and smack dab in the middle of it, of course, was these words from Romans 10:14. There were a number of thoughts that struck me:

1) While we rightly must think through all sorts of issues regarding contextualization in order to speak God's Word into this moment in time; and while we must coupled together appropriate deed ministry to incarnate the love of Jesus; and the end of the day, the Gospel comes to people through the preaching of God's Word. That was the mission that Jesus had (Mark 1:38); that is the mission that he has given to his followers (Luke 24:45-46). We are witnesses to the reality of the Gospel and we must preach that word of witness.

2) These words again confirmed for me the importance of theological education. God's means for bringing his good news to the world is through the ministry of the Word; his way of doing this is by sending preachers; and the way to equip those preachers is through theological education. That doesn't necessarily mean that we must have degree-granting seminaries to do theological education; but that does mean that we have structures to provide essential biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral knowledge that can be used and shared with others.

3) And these words come again to me and challenge my sense of calling. My heart has always been for the church and for the ministry of the Word. Am I doing the right thing as a Seminary administrator? Should I be involved in the regular, weekly ministry of the Word in the context of a local congregation? Will God send me to a particular people for this work at some point? How will others hear without someone preaching?

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