What to adopt. What to adapt. What to oppose.
I was with a practical theology professor recently, discussing over lunch a colleague named Jack who has a powerful, life-transforming ministry to teens and young adults all over the world. Jack is over 60, but he connects. As we talked about the impact of this old man, my lunch mate launched into a strong speech about how Jack belies all this talk about a generation gap. " You have to understand the postmodern mind and connect with it? " he said. " Rubbish! "
I was astonished to sense the intensity of his feeling about the error of trying to be relevant in different ways to different audiences. I was also bemused to think that represented Jack's thinking, so I called him to find out. He laughed. " Just the opposite, " he said. " I study and work hard to understand postmodern thinking, how to connect with a totally different mindset. "
The responsibility of the preacher is to get inside the head, indeed inside the heart of his audience, and communicate in thoughts and words that can be understood, that connect. More than that, thoughts and words that move to action.
That's what Jesus did. He didn't drop in for a few weeks in a celestial bubble and talk celestialese. He became one with us. We need incarnational preaching.
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