There is overwhelming evidence that congregations want two competencies in their pastors. First, they want persons who are able to explicate and apply the Word of God with power. Second, they want pastors who know how to incorporate persons into the worshiping, believing community and bring to them the treasures of the gospel in the passages and crises of life as well as support when life is routine and boring. With amazing unanimity, pulpit committees want a pastor who can preach.
There are good reasons to insist that the recovery of theological preaching, especially in the Reformed pattern, is crucial to the renewal of the church. This preaching responds to the crisis of a pluralistic secular society by providing a coherent vision of reality, rooted in the theological reflections of almost two millennia, and by enabling the Christian to find a theologically intelligible place in the world and in society.
Calvin’s preaching was a clear, unadorned proclamation of God’s works in creation and redemption as set forth in scripture and in a framework established by the Christian community’s reflection on scripture. It called people to decision, created them a community, and gave them an overarching vision of reality in which they could understand their own lives and their place in society.
John H. Leith, From Generation to Generation, pp. 83, 85, and 89.
Dr. John H. Leith (1919–2002), Presbyterian minister and long-time professor of historical theology at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, established the Fund for the Explication and Application of Reformed Theology in 1982, and that became the Foundation for Reformed Theology in 1998. The Foundation is profoundly grateful to be able to share with you the following recordings of some of his lectures and sermons.
A special word of thanks goes to Union Presbyterian Seminary, to their William Smith Morton Library, and to their generous and diligent librarians for receiving, collecting, organizing, cataloging, preserving, publicizing, digitizing, optimizing, making available, and sharing with the Foundation these recordings from their media collection. Please click on the name of the seminary or of the library above to visit their website for additional resources.