Of Inner Screens and Communion Closets

Some more of Thielicke on Spurgeon:

When Spurgeon speaks, it is as if the figures of the patriarchs and prophets and apostles were in the auditorium – sitting upon a raised tribune! – looking down upon the listeners.  You hear the rush of the Jordan and the murmuring of the brooks of Siloam; you see the cedars of Lebanon swaying in the wind, hear the clash and tumult of battle between the children of Israel and the Philistines, sense the safety and security of Noah’s ark, suffer the agonies of soul endured by Job and Jeremiah, hear the creak of oars as the disciples strain against the contrary winds, and feel the dread of the terrors of the apocalypse.  The Bible is so close that you not only hear its messages but breathe its very atmosphere.  The heart is so full of Scripture that it leavens the consciousness, peoples the imagination with its images, and determines the landscape of the soul by its climate.  And because it has what might be called a total presence, the Bible as the Word of God is really concentrated life that enters every pore and teaches us not only to see and hear but also to taste and smell the wealth of reality that is spread out before us here.

Those who listened to these lectures of Spurgeon lived . . . in the atmosphere of the Bible.  They no longer needed to be exhorted to take the Bible seriously; it penetrated into what the psychologists call the “image level” of their unconscious.  Even the admonition to prayer was hardly needed, for the words that reached the hearer were spoken by one who himself had come out of the stillness of eternal communion with God, and what he said to the hearer had first been talked about with the Father in heaven.(v9)

Vivid preaching that reaches deeper than mere words ever could, aiming to transform the listener at every level of the heart, soul, spirit; penetrating to the screen in the inner man, so the vivid and striking reality of Scripture is lived even in the hearing, all coming from one who is personally intimate with the God whose Word he preaches.  It can’t get much better than that!

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