The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

The clamour for celebrated preachers

with 4 comments

The other day someone sent me this quote from William G. T. Shedd:

It is a dark day for a church and it betokens great spiritual decline when the people cease to be content with thoughtful, devout, and scriptural teaching, and clamor for celebrated preachers. The demand will create the supply, and the church will be filled with declaimers and ecclesiastical charlatans. There will be no truly great men produced; and what is far worse no truly good men.

Notice Shedd’s thoughtfulness. Celebrated preachers are not in themselves the problem; the issue is when we are not satisfied with anything else, when the messenger is elevated above the message. It creates a climate of mere performance in which the church suffers immeasurably.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 1 December 2011 at 18:58

4 Responses

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  1. Salutary words, and it has been interesting to note how much John Piper himself has been dealing with the issue of pastoral celebrity in recent times. One wonders how much the dangers of this have been intensified through the web and MP3/MP4 sermons being available free of charge.

    Thanks for your blog Jeremy, very helpful and thought provoking.

    Andrew Roycorft

    Thursday 1 December 2011 at 23:05

    • Thanks for dropping by, and for your kind words.

      There was an interesting post here about the difference between rising to the top and seeking to gain exposure. I do think that the accessibility of material in various forms makes it easier to abuse that availability. Our boundaries and expectations shift as a result. That brings blessings and problems with it.

      Jeremy Walker

      Friday 2 December 2011 at 08:23

      • I totally agree. Dan Phillips’ post on Porn and Paper Pastors brought some helpful thoughts to bear on this issue.

        Andrew Roycorft

        Friday 2 December 2011 at 13:16

  2. […] The clamour for celebrated preachers « The Wanderer […]

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