Monday, November 8, 2010

The chief art of the teacher is to conceal himself

Isaac Gross at The Ground Beneath Your Feet posted this quotation by John Stott on preaching the other day. I've been wondering how it might relate to teaching:
“The main objective of preaching is to expound Scripture so faithfully and relevantly that Jesus Christ is perceived in all his adequacy to meet human need. The true preacher is a witness; he is incessantly testifying to Christ. But without humility he neither can nor wants to do so. James Denney knew this, and had these words framed in the vestry of his Scottish church, ‘No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time. No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.’ Something very similar was spoken by John Watson, the ‘Ian Maclaren’ who wrote the best-selling novel Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush, ‘the chief effect of every sermon should be to unveil Christ, and the chief art of the preacher to conceal himself.’” - John W. Stott, Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982), 325.

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