Friday, 6 March 2009

A stand still Christ?

"The preaching of the new gospel is often described as the task of "bringing [people] to Christ" - as if only [people] move, while Christ stands still. But the task of preaching the old gospel could more properly be described as bringing Christ to [people], for those who preach it know that as they do their work of setting Christ before [people's] eyes, the mighty Saviour whom they proclaim is busy doing His work through their words, visiting sinners with salvation, awakening them to faith, drawing them in mercy to Himself."

From J.I. Packer, in an essay first published 1959, I think. At that stage in his life 32 year old Packer already had some experience as a pastor, writer, teacher and theological scholar. But could the mighty Saviour's work in the second half of the second sentence be better attributed to the Holy Spirit?

3 comments:

Nick Mackison said...

It's a great quote. I think he could equally have attributed the work to either the Saviour or the Holy Spirit.

The book of Acts does start off by saying that the Gospel according to Luke was about all that Jesus 'began to do' etc. The implication is that the powerful workings of the Spirit throughout Acts are just as much the work of Christ as well.

David Shedden said...

For sure, Nicky. There is a Latin theological phrase, to the effect that if one of the Holy Three do something they all do. But, unlike the 32 year old Packer, I'm no scholar.

Nick Mackison said...

Yeah but you could take him in a fight.