Where the world comes to study the Bible

Report Inappropriate Ad

Cold Professionalism

If we can preach Christ crucified and remain altogether unmoved, we must have a hard heart indeed. More to be feared than emotion is cold professionalism, the dry, detached utterance of a lecture which has neither heart nor soul in it. Do man’s peril and Christ’s salvation mean so little to us that we feel no warmth rise within us as we think about them”? Very different was Richard Baxter, who wrote in his Reformed Pastor (1656):

‘I marvel how I can preach…slightly and coldly, how I can let men alone in their sins and that I do not go to them and beseech them for the Lord’s sake to repent, however they take it and whatever pains or trouble it should cost me. I seldom come out of the pulpit but my conscience smiteth me that I have been no more serious and fervent. It accuseth me not so much for want of human ornaments or elegance, nor for letting fall an uncomely word; but it asketh me: “How could’st thou speak of life and death with such a heart? Should’st thou not weep over such a people, and should not thy tears interrupt thy words? Should’st not thou cry aloud and shew them their transgressions and entreat and beseech them as for life and death?”

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (London: Epworth Press, 2nd ed. rev. 1950), pp. 106, quoted in The Preacher’s Portrait by John R. W. Stott, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1961), p. 58

Report Inappropriate Ad