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Light and Heat: The Puritan View of the Pulpit (Bickel)

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Northampton Press

Protestants, for the most part, have lost their confidence in one of the greatest assets of their tradition: faith in the mysterious, creative power of the proclaimed Word of God from the pulpit. The desire to preach the Word in the pulpit has not endured in current evangelicalism because of the lost sense of the Word creating either situations or people who become doers of the Word. Protestant ministers see their task and function dictated by the vision they have of the pulpit. Many ‘share’ rather than ‘preach,’ pray rather than pronounce blessings, and perform under a clouded vision of their ministry because they have no clear conviction about the nature of preaching. They do not see clearly the unique and supernatural nature of preaching because they do not see clearly the unique and supernatural nature of the Holy Scripture.

Throughout history, God has raised up men and movements whose great work was to preach and apply the Word of God to their own generation. Of course, by implication, these men have affected all generations thereafter – such men were the Puritans. 

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. The View of the Pulpit

3. The Direction of Preaching

            The Conviction of Preaching

            The Character of Preaching

            The Content of Preaching

4. The Demands of Preaching

5. The Duties of the Pastor

            Catechizing the People

            Counseling the Perplexed

            Comforting the Person

            Communing in Private Worship

6. Conclusion