‘You must distinguish between novelty & freshness’

It is not needful that the preacher be original as a genius is, but only as a true believer is. What he brings to the Church is not something unheard of, and imported from outside, to revolutionize it. He has to offer the Church, in outer form, the word which is always within it, in order that the Church, by that presentation, may become anew what by God’s grace it already is. He must be original in the sense that his truth is his own, but not in the sense that it has been no one else’s. You must distinguish between novelty and freshness. The preacher is not to be original in the sense of being absolutely new, but in the sense of being fresh, of appropriating for his own personality, or his own age, what is the standing possession of the Church, and its perennial trust from Christ. He makes discovery in the Gospel, not of the Gospel.

– P. T. Forsyth, Positive Preaching and Modern Mind

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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