One of life’s greater pleasures is reading. Such was my pleasure early this morning. As the sun rose from behind the trees, awakening another gorgeous Colorado day, I finished the last few pages of a book I’ve been slowly reading through over the last several months. What I read – a chapter entitled, “We Want Again Luthers!” – stirred my heart, encouraged my pastoral soul, and refueled the warm embers of my calling into flames of holy, burning desire. It reads...
It has been nearly five hundred years since Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation, that pivotal movement that brought about God-exalting change in the church. A half millennium removed, the church today finds itself at a similar critical juncture. The darkness of this age calls for a new reformation. If such a spiritual awakening is to come, there must be a new generation of heralds, men like Luther, who are bold and biblical in their pulpit proclamation. They must have a high view of Scripture, a high view of God, and a high view of the pulpit. Each of these fundamental commitments is indispensable.
A high view of Scripture. The needed reformation will not occur in the church until Scripture is returned to its preeminent place. The Word of God must be restored to its rightful position, governing the entire life of the church. Preachers must again rightly understand the supremacy of the Bible, not only its verbal inerrancy, but also its primary authority and absolute sufficiency. There must be a decisive and radical return to the Reformation principle of sola Scriptura.
A high view of God. There also must be the proper recognition of God’s holy, transcendent character. A new reformation will come only when the people of God regain a lofty vision of Him as sovereign Ruler of all. The unhealthy state of the church at this time is due in large part to a low view of God. This, in turn, has led to a high view of man. Not until there is the restoration of an elevated view of God will the church be restored to her former glory and have an effect upon the world again.
A high view of the pulpit. There is likewise a great need for a reformation of the evangelical pulpit. To reform the pulpit is to reform the church. What is needed is not simply more preaching, but God-enthralled, Christ-magnifying, Spirit-empowered preaching. If this is to occur, the church must regain a high view of the pulpit. As was prevalent during the Reformation, the preaching of the Word must be central in the worship of the church in this generation. – Steven J. Lawson, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther (119-120)
Tomorrow I will share what the author goes on to say, which particularly focuses on his last point (namely, “A high view of the pulpit”).