“An evangelist who has himself been reconciled to God through Christ, and who can make the New Testament witness to the reconciling power of Jesus his own, is a far more powerful minister of reconciliation than any institution or atmosphere can be. The sense of responsibility for reconciliation, the duty of being reconciled, do not become urgent except under a direct and personal appeal. A reconciled man, preaching Christ as the way of reconciliation, and preaching Him in the temper and spirit which the experience of reconciliation creates, is the most effective mediator of Christ’s reconciling power. It is hardly another thing than this if we say that the reconciling power is most effectively mediated through the New Testament. For when we read the New Testament with susceptible minds, we listen to the voice of those who were once themselves estranged from God, but have been reconciled to Him through Christ, and are letting us into the secret of their new life; it is the nearest approach we can make and therefore the most vital, to the reconciling power which streamed from Christ Himself.”
James Denney in The Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation
May our pulpits be filled with such men.
We need sound theology without theological lectures. We need the whole of Scripture without legalism. We need preachers who have drawn near to Christ and are drawing others along with them.
It is such preachers that we can follow.