Last week, I gave a bit of background on “The Sinner’s Prayer”, exploring what it is, and what it isn’t. Just to be clear, then, I’m not about to argue that sinners shouldn’t cry out for God’s mercy.
It’s been the source of controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention, with David Platt calling it “superstitious”. And yet a recent Christianity Today editorial called it “a work of genius, as brilliant as the simple formulations of Martin Luther”.
We’ve talked a lot these past few weeks about the centrality of the gospel in discipling, teaching and preaching.
“The Puritans insisted that the ultimate effectiveness of preaching is out of man’s hands. Man’s task is simply to be faithful in teaching the Word; it is God’s work to convince of its truth and write it in the heart.
“Consider the infinite condescension and love of Christ, in his invitation to you to come to him for life, deliverance, mercy, grace, peace, and eternal salvation.
Spencer Cone was a popular Baptist pastor in New York City between 1785 and 1855. This was his advice to young preachers:
I spoke recently about “being clean.” It was for a guest service at All Souls, Langham Place, and you can find the audio here.
“Let me hear you make decisions / Without your television, / Let me hear you speaking just for me.” The line is from Depeche Mode’s Stripped, and I’m surprised it doesn’t turn up more often in manuals for effective preaching.