Preacher, Be a Prophet, Not a Scribe


Preaching necessitates study. Serious preaching necessitates serious study. We dare not rest on mere oratory when standing in the sacred desk. Still, pointing people to Christ through our messages requires passion for God, stirred by deep fellowship with God, in addition to careful preparation of a text. Sermons must be more than book reports. They must stir affections as well as minds, and they will only do so when they’ve stirred our own affections first. I am reminded of this by my friend A. W. Tozer, who alludes to¬†scribe and prophet to make his point:

“Hearts that are ‘fit to break’ with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen.

“The distinction is not an imaginary one. Between the scribe who has read and the prophet who has seen there is a difference as wide as the sea. We are today overrun with orthodox scribes, but the prophets, where are they? The hard voice of the scribe sounds over evangelicalism, but the Church waits for the tender voice of the saint who has penetrated the veil and has gazed with inward eye upon the Wonder that is God.” (The Pursuit of Godbook / kindle)

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2 Responses

  1. Great comments from Tozer. A.W.Tozer was your friend??? He died long before you were born!

  2. The authors whose books you read thoughtfully become your friends. You get to know them. They speak to you. I have many wonderful friends who died years ago.

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