The Heidelberg Catechism on Powerpoint

Question 130.  What does God require of preachers tempted to rely on technology?

Answer:  Ok, this was a provocative title, and technically Microsoft programmers were still in the early stages of development and they hadn’t yet released powerpoint in 1563.  But the title may not be too far off.  I was looking through the Heidelberg Catechism earlier this week in light of a discussion on some historical matters.  Along with several other points that I really appreciated, I noticed one particularly relevant to preachers.  Question 97 develops the issue of not making images of God with a broader question of the use of images in the church.  Then comes question 98 . . .

Question 98.  But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?

Answer: No, for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of his word.

Quick thoughts . . .

1. Do we fall into the trap of thinking that we know better than God in our age of sophistication?  I wonder if previous generations had all the same comments about, “Well, you know, this generation now is different and so we need to . . . “

2. Do we think people can’t be engaged and drawn in and captivated by the teaching of the Word of God?  I won’t get started on attention spans or this will become a long post!

3. Do we do our best to be alive, life-giving and lively in our preaching?  No generation has ever thrived under the dull preaching of God’s Word.