Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Piper on George Whitfield Part II

Now finished this lecture. Lessons from the second part?
  1. Whitefield's preaching was densely doctrinal. When once considers its impact, we see that a prayerful reliance on the Spirit of God to give understanding is what is needed for our preaching in an increasingly illiterate age, not a dumbing down of the message.
  2. Whitefield unashamedly preached the reformed doctrines of grace. Again, this reliance on God doesn't mean we have to shy away from the hard truths of the gospel.
  3. The most thought provoking point: Whitefield was fallible in supporting slavery in the US. Yet by pressing the need to evangelise the slaves, he did more for their cause and dignity than perhaps any other at the time. Why? Because he stressed that they had souls too, that they could flourish just as much as anyone else with Christ and with education. This put me to thinking, that whereas political correctness balks at the idea of evangelism, the very concept is truly affirming of people's equality and dignity. Eg. to say one shouldn't evangelise Muslims say, or those living in another country, becomes a form of racism in which they are denied a fair opportunity to accept or reject Christ. Or it simply patronises people in suggesting they are not as capable as the Westerner in being discerning about what they are hearing. As so often, the irony of liberalism is that if it is to be consistent, it must end up critiquing itself.