Scott Postma

A blog about the Great Books, the Craft of Writing, and Human Flourishing.

Clear as Crystal

If it is important to measure our words and articulate our thoughts accurately in ordinary conversation,  how much more when communicating God’s Word.

Paul exhorted Timothy to proclaim the Word accurately whether it was popular or not, but to do so with cheerful endurance and instruction.

Though only a fool would attempt to argue accuracy in preaching is of no consequent, not all preachers of the Word dispense the labor necessary to be certain of their holy obligation.

I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as a crystal.  I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study.  To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness, -this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon:  and I do not think any sermon out to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.  Do not confuse obscurity with profundity, and do not imagine that lucidity is necessarily shallow.  Let the preacher bind himself to the pursuit of clear conceptions, and let him aid his pursuit by demanding that every sermon he preaches shall express its theme and purpose in a sentence as lucid as his powers  can command.

-J.H. Jowett

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2, ESV)

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About Scott Postma

Scott is a writer and teacher living in North Idaho. He loves teaching the Great Books, writing and blogging, and collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

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