Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Proclamation as Christ's "self-disclosure"

Building the Biblical Theological Sermon

"We are not asking the man in the pew to 'get something out' of the sermon, whether we have given him an outline in the bulletin or whatever. We are proclaiming to the man and the woman and the child in the pew that his or her life is found in the text of the Scripture and in that text-word there is a self-disclosure of the life of God himself, the life of Jesus Christ, the life of the Holy Spirit. And what's more God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost invite that man, woman and child in the pew to participate in their life! To come into that heavenly life! To move into the age to come -- into the life from above -- to experience what it means to live in the not yet now! We are not imposing upon the pew so that the pew sits to extract something from our message. We are saying to the pew, 'Come up to the heavenlies in Christ Jesus; come and find your life hidden with Christ in God in this text.' Here is your life. We do not ask you to derive lessons from the life of Adam. We proclaim that your life is in Adam -- miserable, sinful, rebellious, selfish, autonomous, hellish but we plead with men, women and children everywhere to find their life in that second Adam, to find themselves in Christ Jesus a new creation clothed upon with the righteousness of the Lamb of God, ushered into the paradise of God by the one who has tasted the flame and felt the edge of the sword of divine justice. We preach to you life in Christ Jesus -- your life hidden with Christ in God -- from first Adam to second Adam -- from Adam protological to Adam eschatological" -- James T. Dennison