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Pulpit Dramatics

One morning in the 1620s, in a little village church, a preacher named John Rogers was preaching on the subject of the Bible in the Christian’s life. He allowed himself some pulpit dramatics. First, he acted the part of God telling the congregation:

“Well, I have trusted you so long with my Bible; you have slighted it; it lies in such and such houses all covered with dust and cobwebs; you care not to listen to it. Do you use my Bible so? Then you shall have my Bible no longer.” And he took the pulpit Bible away.

Then he knelt down and impersonated the people crying to God: “Lord, whatever thou dost to us, take not thy Bible from us; kill our children, burn our houses; destroy our goods but spare us thy Bible.”

Then he acted God again: “Say you so? Well, I will try you a while longer; and here is my Bible for you” (replacing it); “I will see how you will use it, whether you will love it more, observe it more, practice it more, live more according to it.”

At this the whole congregation dissolved in tears. What had happened? Rogers, under God, had touched a nerve, reminding them of their need to pay close attention to the Bible because reverence for God meant reverence for Scripture and serving God meant obeying Scripture.

Do we need to recapture some of the same attitude today? Surely disregarding the Bible is the greatest possible insult to its divine author.

Your Father Loves You, by James Packer, (Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986), page for April 24