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Bonhoeffer on Preaching

Check out this Bonhoeffer quote.  H/T Ben Myers

“It is wrong to assume that on the one hand there is a word, or a truth, and on the other hand there is a community existing as two separate entities, and that it would then be the task of the preacher to take this word, to manipulate and enliven it, in order to bring it within and apply it to the community. Rather, the Word moves along this path of its own accord. The preacher should and can do nothing more than be a servant of this movement inherent in the Word itself, and refrain from placing obstacles in its path.”

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship (Bonhoeffer Works Vol. 4; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), pp. 227-28.

Or as Barth would say (speaking of the Spirit), the Lord who speaks is the Lord who hears. 

Preachers are not bridge-builders bravely standing in the hermeneutical gap between then and now. (How much homiletics depends on exactly this assumption??)  The living word is indeed alive (not just capable of liveliness!).  The Spirit is at work making His word lively, relevant, applied or whatever other actions the modern preacher is encouraged to take into their own hands!


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