Brilliant statement on preaching by John Barclay

Came across this absolute gem last night while reading an essay by my supervisor in Narrative Dynamics in Paul:

Although the crucifixion of Christ was indeed an event in history, it punctures other times and other stories not just as a past event recalled but as a present event that, in an important sense, happens anew for its hearers . . . in the ‘revelation of Jesus Christ’. In the preaching of the gospel, time becomes, as it were, concertinaed, and the past becomes existentially present. Without this constant present time, of gift and demand, the church becomes merely the bearer of a new tradition, playing out her part in a narrative whose turning point is long in the past. But for Paul the decisive event is always also now: Will Christ be formed in you (Gal 4:19)?

Oh, that every time I preach I would remember these words, and be struck by the weight of responsibility, and privilege, that accompanies every opportunity to exposit Scripture!


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