Preaching the Law with Love (Bridges)

A friend and I were recently discussing several parts of Charles Bridges’ The Christian Ministry. One section I have marked and underlined quite a bit has to do on how a preacher should rebuke with love.  This also has to do with preaching the law: it should be done with love.

“The spirit of love must deeply imbue the language of reproof.  We must ‘exhort,’ but ‘with all longsuffering’ (2 Tim. 4:2); bearing with the frowardness that will often resist the most affectionate pleading.  Meekness, gentleness, and patience must stamp our instruction of the opponents of the Gospel.  We must wound their consciences as sinners, not their feelings as men; carefully avoiding unnecessary excitement of enmity; and showing the faithfulness that lays open their sins, to be the ‘wounds of a friend’ (Prov. 27:6), the chastening to be that of a father (2 Cor. 2:4).”

“The recollection of our former state (not to speak of our present sympathy with them as their fellow-sinners) will give a considerate tenderness to our reproof, which without weakening its application, will powerfully soften the heart to receive it: so that it falls, ‘as a wise reprover upon an obedient ear’ (Prov 25:12).  Indeed it is when we most deeply feel our own sinfulness, that we speak most closely and powerfully to the consciences of our people.”

Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, p. 335.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI


Disturbing Driscoll Divination

Though I (Shane) usually don’t read blogs, a friend of mine (thanks, PC!) pointed out a Teampyro blog post (HERE) which dealt with a disturbing and dangerous sermon clip by Mark Driscoll.  I don’t know anything about Teampryo, but this is a blog post worth reading (including a video and transcript of Driscoll’s sermon clip). 

I knew Driscoll wasn’t very Reformed, I knew he wasn’t a “5 point” Calvinist, and I knew he had charismatic tendencies.  This sermon excerpt is far worse than those things.  When you watch/read it, you’ll see that it is beyond crazy Pentecostalism and is borderline neopaganism (or something like that).  Driscoll here is unbiblical, unwise, not pastoral, not helpful, and frankly, this is a dangerous teaching.  As the other blog said, we shouldn’t give Driscoll a pass for this.  Even if he has done “good work” in the past, he needs to be rebuked and he needs to repent.  If his elders/deacons won’t speak up, other Christians need to lovingly address this false teaching.  It’s not a minor thing.

I usually don’t weigh in on these issues.  And I almost deleted this post several times.  But since I’ve blogged on Driscoll’s books in a somewhat favorable way, I feel compelled to point this out.  I’m going to go back and put some sort of a note on the blog posts I’ve done on Driscoll’s books.  Andrew and I certainly don’t want to endorse any unbiblical teaching.

My advice?  Get over Driscoll.  Move on.  Grow up.  Mature.  Read more solid, more biblical, and less trendy theology.  Read Thomas Watson.  Read Michael Horton.  Read Louis Berkhof.  Read Martin Luther.  Read R.C. Sproul.  Read the Christian classics.  Sure, these guys might not crack jokes, cuss, talk crudely about sex, and tell about their visions and rated ‘R’ dreams, but they will teach you mature, grown-up Christian theology.  That’s what the church needs.  Do not be children in your thinking…but in your thinking be mature (1 Cor. 14.20; cf. Eph 4.13, Col 1.28, and Heb. 5.14). 

shane lems