Someone said that preaching the Gospel faithfully without the power of the Holy Spirit is impossible.  The proclamation of Law and Gospel is the most counter intuitive things that one can do in this culture.  Think of the conundrums.  Think of the box that a true preacher of the Gospel is in, not the watered down pabulum of the self help gurus pretending to be preachers.  American evangelicalism has brought us to the place where civil religion is what most say they believe and yet that very notion has brought us to the point where the civil realm is pagan.

We are caught in what some would call the perfect quantum loop, or the perfect cosmic catch 22. Whatever we write or preach, can never be too conservative for the realities of the world in which we live. At the same time, every speech we utter, and every word that we write, is too conservative for the world in which we live. We can never be outrageous enough. We are at the same time anachronistic and prophetic.  We are called to preach whether anyone will listen or not and fewer and fewer are listening.  The message we preach is more and more becoming exactly what Paul said it was; a scandal and an offense.  Welcome back to 1st Century Christianity.