I am currently “out of pocket” working on writing Pulpit Crimes (which also explains the blog silence). So, here are a couple of unedited sections from a “notes file” I have put together. This material then becomes incorporated into various chapters in the process or organizing the book. Since I am often asked about the writing process, I thought some might find seeing these early stage notes interesting.
2 Timothy 2:2 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
The foundation of Christian education is in the church. Obviously, Timothy had to 1) know what was truly Pauline/apostolic 2) know the men well enough and long enough and observe their lives so as to know that they are faithful and that they have the ability to teach, and 3) know how to entrust these things, teach these things, to these faithful men. Sound theology is something that is precious and must be entrusted to the next generation.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Solemnly (tie in Acts 20). That is one’s primary attitude toward the ministry of preaching. Solemnity. First priority: preach the word. At all times. Not just at convenient times. Reprove, though no one likes to do so. Rebuke, because it is necessary. Exhort, because there will always be those who are faint-hearted. With patience and instruction, since it takes repetition and teaching. Things won’t get easier. Sinful men hate the consistency of sound doctrine. Men will allow their desires, their emotions, to determine who they will and will not listen to. They will accumulate to themselves, like people hording up treasure, teachers who will tell them exactly what they want to hear. They will purposefully turn their ears from truth, since they know what the truth is, and they will turn aside to myths. Truth, or myth. No middle ground. The apostle knew nothing of the modern state of confusion that reigns in academic circles and trickles down to the pulpit.