Four quotes to chew on for your weekend:
“Men who haven’t accustomed themselves to hard study and to careful pulpit preparation had better remain among a class of people who will be satisfied with little or no preparation. And yet, I ought not to say that either. For people ought not to be satisfied with that kind of ministry. Under it they can never properly develop. They, particularly, need a ministry that will so educate them that they will not be satisfied with any kind of stuff that may be handed out to them from the pulpit. The only place for such ministers is out of the pulpit entirely. If a man doesn’t intend, as far as he is able by hard study and dint of perseverance, to feed his people on the finest of wheat, he has no business in the ministry and the people should be so educated as to make him feel it and as to shut him out of every pulpit” – Francis James Grimké, Meditations on Preaching, 29.
“Christianity is not designed to lead us to a God who fits inside our minds; it is designed to lead us to the God who actually exists and who is truly God. The goal is not rational comprehension but rational worship. That the transcendent Creator of the heavens and the earth has revealed himself to Israel and supremely in Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is a mystery that drives us to worship, not merely to a series of logical propositions that we can explain” – Craig A. Carter, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism, 81.
“When one reads the historical-critical commentaries, one finds that all too often the answer to any apparent contradiction or inconsistency in the text is to get out scissors and paste, rather than to patiently reflect on the meaning and structure of the details of the text as it stands. The biggest problem with giving oneself permission to consider emendation and interpolations is that as soon as we find something difficult to understand, we tend to hurry past what is meant to be contemplated patiently, with the result that we miss the hidden treasure. It gives us permission to be superficial and confuses scholarly sophistication with the invention of creative theories about what might have been the case or guesses about what might have been meant. A summary of the results from a century of this sort of thing makes for dry and boring reading. It is a little like going to a performance of Handel’s Messiah and having to listen to the tenor display his virtuosity by hitting increasingly higher notes instead of simply singing the aria as written. It is ultimately a form of narcissism” – Craig A. Carter, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism, 93.
“Question: When does ‘misinformation’ stop being misinformation on social media? Answer: When Democratic government authorities give permission. Witness Facebook’s decision to stop censoring some claims about the origin of Covid-19 the same day President Biden said his Administration will investigate whether a Chinese lab may have been involved. . . . The shift is better late than never, but note the apparent implication: While a political or scientific claim is disfavored by government authorities, Facebook will limit its reach. When government reduces its hostility toward an idea, so will Facebook. . . . YouTube’s Covid-19 policy similarly forbids contradicting ‘health authorities.’ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is run by a political appointee and its evolving guidance is clearly influenced by political considerations. YouTube, owned by Google, used this policy to remove a roundtable on virus response with scientists and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis” – “Facebook’s Lab-Leak About-Face,” Wall Street Journal (May 28, 2021): A15.
Regarding the fourth quote, unfortunately politics comes into play. According to Facebook and other social media, it’s not what is said, but who is saying it. Mass media favors the left, so they will only censor the right. The truth doesn’t matter.
As for what’s coming from the pulpit, I will very likely be very critical of any other pastor because it will be difficult not to compare him to you. You have set the bar very high.