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Bald Moralism

There seems to be a worsening condition in the pulpit today.  Preaching has generally considered to be declining over the years and lately has seemed to be bromides and moralism.  Moralism is a bane when it comes to preaching the Gospel.  I have just been reintroduced to a blast from the past by reading a quote from one of the Sloane Coffins.

There were two Coffins back in the day who were famous clergymen.  One was kind of a hippy, peace activist whose name was William Sloane Coffin.  A caricature of him was featured in the cartoon “Doonesbury” for years.  His uncle was Henry Sloane Coffin who was President of Union Theological Seminary and by all accounts a pretty decent preacher.  I wonder of he was referring to his nephew when he wrote…..

“The curse of our pulpit is its bald moralism. The ambassador of Christ forgets his embassy, says next to nothing of the Master he is representing, and spends his time telling those before him what they ought to be and to do. . . . Movements, crusades, campaigns, missions have filled the horizon. One sometimes wonders what there has
been in public worship for the very large number of persons who were in no position to participate in these strenuous efforts …. Our Lord’s gracious invitation to ‘the weary and heavy laden’ has not been prominent in American preaching …. ”

 

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