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Engaging the Mind with Sound Doctrine

The gospel that saves souls and changes lives is not merely a message that inspires the emotions. It is a message that first brings the truth of Gods Word to the minds of listeners.

Iain Murray   The existence of real Christianity requires a stronger basis than feeling. The nature of that basis is clear in Pauls injunctions to Timothy and Titus: it is sound doctrine, sound words, the word (1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:23; Titus 1:9; 2:1).

The reason for this apostolic priority is twofold: first, as already said, it is the mind of man that has first to be engaged and convicted; second, it is the Word of God that the Spirit of truth honours and nothing will convince without his witness. These convictions were the starting point for the evangelical preachers of Scotland. They did not see themselves as in charge of the situation. They were only the spokesmen for God and real preaching must have with it something more vital than their speaking. It must be in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Cor. 2:45). Andrew Bonar understood this when he noted in his diary, It is one thing to bring truth from the Bible, and another thing to bring it from God himself through the Bible.

If the content of preaching is biblical, it follows that it will be theological, that is to say, it will concern the knowledge of God. Brethren, Spurgeon could tell his students, if you are not theologians, you are in your pastorates just nothing at all. We shall never have great preachers until we have great divines. Closeness to Scripture and love for sound doctrine belong together.

History has proved that when the influence of true preaching is at its greatest, commitment to sound doctrine will ever be present.

Iain Murray, A Scottish Christian Heritage (Banner of Truth, 2006), 330331.

Posted 2009·02·26 by David Kjos
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Posted in: A Scottish Christian Heritage · Church History · Iain Murray
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