Haddon Robinson takes this a step further by adding two more “worlds.” The world of the listeners is the world of the congregational culture, as well as the societal culture at large. Then there is the world of the preacher’s inner life.
It isn’t easy to live in multiple worlds at once. There is always a danger that we will give diminished attention to one of these worlds. That was a point Stott made. Instead of building a bridge from one world to the other, there is always a tendency to build heavily on one side only – either being in this world only or building a tower from the Bible straight to heaven.
How do we measure our engagement with each world?
The world of the listener – prayerful concern for specific people and watchful awareness of the cultural influences, local and national?
The world of the Bible – prayerful fascination with the text, the culture, the people, the politics, the geography, the history, etc?
I was struck by this quote from John Smith, in The History of Virginia. A nudge to keep history and geography tied together:
As geography without history seemeth a carcus without motion, so history without geography wandereth as a vagrant without certain habitation.
Preaching isn’t a simple task, but what a privilege!