The Fundamental Problem With Preaching

John Piper on Luke 13:1-5:

Some people came to Jesus and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. Jesus responded in shockingly unsentimental words: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” In other words, Jesus says, “Are you amazed that few Galileans were killed by Pilate? What you ought to be amazed at is that all of you haven’t been killed, and that you will be someday if you don’t repent.”

Sproul pointed out here that you have the age-old difference between the way natural man sees the problem of his relation to God and the way the Bible sees the problem of man’s relation to God. Man-centered humans are amazed that God should withhold life and joy from his creatures. But the God-centered Bible is amazed that God should withhold judgment from sinners.

One of the implications this has for preaching is that preachers who take their cue from the Bible and not from the world will always be wrestling with spiritual realities that many of their hearers do not even know exist or think essential. But the main point here is this: that the fundamental problem with preaching, whether a man-centered age like ours feels it or not, is how a preacher can proclaim hope to sinners in view of God’s unimpeachable righteousness.