Him We Proclaim, 3

May 2, 2008

Johnson picks up from the three approaches he discussed in the previous chapter and writes, “…in principle these insights can be reconciled and incorporated into a more complex and richer homiletic…” (62). He turns to Paul’s theology of preaching encapsulated best in Colossians 1:24-27 to define preaching in all its dimensions. It turned out to be one of the most fascinating chapters that I have ever read in any book.

There are seven themes in this passage that Dr. Johnson pulls out to summarize Paul’s theology of apostolic preaching… 

     1) The purpose of his proclamation is to “present everyone mature in Christ.”

     2) He therefore is aware of the “identity and need” of his listeners.

     3) “His message has content to be communicated authoritatively and persuasively, and Paul encapsulates the entire content of his message in a single word–or, more precisely, a single person” ‘Him we proclaim’–the Christ who no indwells Gentiles” (64).

     4) The communication tasks of his preaching includes “teaching and admonishing.”

     5) Sufferings, afflictions, toil, and struggle are part of the price to paid by ministers of the gospel.

     6) There is a divine power that is at work through the preacher’s weakness.

     7) “This text introduces the motif of the preacher’s office, entailing authority and accountability, through the imagery or stewardship” (65).

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