16 May 2011

The Preaching Baxter Hated Most

Richard Baxter (1615-1691):
Of all preaching in the world (that speaks not stark lies), I hate that preaching which tends to make the hearers laugh, or to move their minds with tickling levity, and affect them as stage-plays [read: Hollywood, Carrey, Leno, SNL] used to do, instead of affecting them with a holy reverence of the name of God. (The Reformed Pastor, 119-20)
A word for Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, preachers, hospital chaplains.

It is not impossible for 'holy reverence' to co-exist with humor. But it is hard.

Note: by 'levity' Baxter does not mean joy. Laughter is often the substitute for, not the manifestation of, joy.

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