Preaching in a Post-Christian Context

From Dennis E. Johnson, Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2007), 74-75.

We dare not be content simply to preserve the message; we must propagate it boldly.  New Covenant preaching cannot remain comfortably within the New Covenant community, speaking that community’s special dialect!  We live and preach in the redemptive era when the crucified and risen Christ sits enthroned in heaven as the Lord who announces: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations’ (Matt. 28:18).  In view of our place in the unfolding of God’s plan, the preacher’s calling is not merely to put the finishing touches on Christians who are already biblically literate and theologically sophisticated.  Nor is it only setting straight Christians from other churches and traditions who need correction.  If pastors ever had the luxury of assuming that they were ministering in Christendom – that is, in a community and culture dominated by Christian conviction – those days are over.  We need to recapture the apostolic sense of gospel mission to the pagans, not only in far away pre-Christian cultures but also in post-Christian American and Europe.

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