Tolle Lege: The Expository Genius of John Calvin

The ExpositoryReadability: 1

Length: 130 pgs

Author: Steve Lawson

You may not believe me, due to the recommending of books on preaching, but I do try to exercise reserve in the books I encourage you to read.  For those who faithfully sit in the pew eager to feast on God’s preached word you should be as desirous to know what is the soul and essence of preaching as you are to hear it.  Don’t just listen to it, know what it is to be.  Many think they have heard the preaching of God’s word when they have heard nothing of the sort.  Not only should you know what true preaching is so that you can identify it, but so that you can rightly pray for the preacher.  I am glad to know I am not alone in this assessment.  Steve Lawson writes in the introduction to the Expository Genius of John Calvin:

If you are a preacher or teacher may you be challenged to a higher standard in you handling of the Word.  If you are a supporter of one called to this ministry, may you know how best to pray.

Take up this little book, read, pray, and yearn for the adulterated heralding of the gospel.

Exposition is being replaced with entertainment, preaching with performance, doctrine with drama, and theology with theatrics.  Desperately does the modern-day church need to recover its way and return to the pulpit that is Bible-based, Christ-centered, and life-changing.  God has always been pleased to honor His Word – especially his Word preached.  The greatest seasons of church history – those eras of widespread reformation and great awakening – have been those epochs in which God-fearing men took the inspired Word and unashamedly preached it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

‘Their [ministers’] whole task is limited to the ministry of God’s Word; their whole wisdom to the knowledge of His Word; their whole eloquence, to its proclamation.’ – Calvin

‘Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God, of which they are constituted administrators.  Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this Word.  Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest. Let them edify the body of Christ.  Let them devastate Satan’s reign.  Let them pasture the sheep, kill the wolves, instruct and exhort the rebellious. Let them bind and loose thunder and lightning, if necessary, but let them do all according to the Word of God.’ – Calvin

A sermon rises no higher than a preacher’s soul before God.

‘We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen’s ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gift of Jesus Christ to the church, and will come in due time. He has power to give back again a golden age of preachers, and when the good old truth is one more preached by men whose lips are touched as with a live coal from off the alter, this shall be the instrument in the hand of the Spirit for bringing about a great and thorough revival of religion in the land. . . .

 I do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and the opening of men’s ears to hear it. The moment the church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to receive and bless His churches.” – Charles Spurgeon

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