Too often, we evangelicals are not that different from medieval Christians. We too are flush with venerated saints. I’ll admit we have made some changes in the last thousand years. We’ve abandoned the notion of patron saints and no longer pray for their absolution. We do understand that they cannot forgive sins, but somehow we still think they are anointed with a special gift from God. Thousands flock to scores of conferences to venerate their favorite saint. Yes, I’ll admit our saints aren’t dead Christians who have the ear of God, or Mary, or some other heavenly power. But we still worship them. We still give them the place of God.
Instead of begging them to intercede for us (the Reformation did fix that problem) we hang on their every word searching for the hidden knowledge which has led to their public success. We assume that the proliferation of their followers means God is pleased with their ministry. We don’t claim to be of Paul, Apollos, Cepheus or Christ, but we do find our identity in our own favorite Christian speakers.
What then should our response be? Is there anything to be gained from gifted preachers?
Yes, there is.
Cautious of these cults surrounding celebrity pastors, Pastor Tim Raymond carefully delineates why we should study great preachers. In his post at Credo, Pastor Tim Raymond lists seven skillful modern expositors. Pastor Tim gives us a list of Spirit filled and Bible infused preachers. His intent is not for us to worship them but instead to highlight excellent models for the young expositor. The following seven living preachers practice a type of homiletics which is beneficial to the church and worth emulating.Joel Beeke Alistair Begg Mark Dever Sinclair Ferguson R. Kent Hughes John MacArthur John Piper
These men are both gifted at exegesis and application. They posses the ability to faithfully expound complex passages of scripture. They also posses the ability to clearly speak to the average person. Read Pastor Raymond’s full article here: http://www.credomag.com/2011/11/30/who-are-some-expositional-preachers-worth-a-careful-listen/.
The point is, only God should be worshiped. No other man is perfect or has any insider knowledge on the Christian life which is not available to all believers in Scripture. However, there are men who through training and years of experience have gained valuable tools in handling the Word of God. They’ve studied to show themselves approved unto God as those who rightly divide His word. Let’s emulate and study them as we seek to better know God and to better expound His Word.