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Preachers are Waiters not Chefs [repost]

Dick Lucas (from here)

‘Have I got to interpret the Bible facts for you? I want to tell you it is a great relief to me that I don’t have to do that… Now it would be very grim thing if I had these 66 books of the Bible, all these thousands of pages, and God gave me the job of taking all this raw material and cooking it – so that I present to you an understanding of the Christian faith. That would be quite beyond my wisdom. It seems people are trying to do that but I am not trying to do that. No, the Bible writers have already cooked the material. That is, they have already prepared it so the finished product is here. The Bible is not asking us to interpret it. The Bible is an interpretation. My job is to tell you what the explanation is.’  (Dick Lucas)

Preachers are waiters not chefs.  We haven't got to concoct a tasty message from raw and unpalatable ingredients.  We haven't got to make the dish work through bold and imaginative combinations.  We haven't got to water down the strong stuff or spice up the bland.  We haven't got to flavour it to taste.

We just have to get the dish onto the table, as piping hot as possible and trying not to spill any.

Et voila!  Bon apetit!

No-one cares if their waiter can cook.  No-one wants to hear their waiter speak about their culinary abilities.

What's actually helpful is if the waiter is something of a gourmand and can wax eloquent on the dish of the day.  Yes that can be very helpful.  As the waiter enthuses on the chef's special, we swallow hard, widen our eyes, deepen our appetite.

What we need are food lovers not food technicians.

God save us from waiters who think they are chefs.  God grant us waiters with a passion for the plat du jour - Every day it's Christ!

(And yes, I've now exhausted all the French I know).

And it all makes me think of Bish's super-instinct.

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11 thoughts on “Preachers are Waiters not Chefs [repost]

  1. Ephrem Hagos

    The persona grata of Jesus: "the True Food which comes down from Heaven to make us alive and to feed us for all time", is missing in my Bible. Where can one find him?

  2. Howard

    You don't have the passages in the Gospel where Jesus speaks of Himself as the bread of life, or the one where He calls us to eat of His flesh and blood to be His disciples, or that that heaven itself literally 'descends' upon Him - those are just quickly referenced from just the Gospel of John, but there's plenty more.

  3. Howard

    Through faith, and I do not say that glibly. Flesh and Blood alone does not reveal the one who stands before us here, and even those who followed Him found it hard to accept, never mind understand, what Jesus was teaching. Only the Father grants us, through opening the Word to us, that it is Christ Himself, the only begotten Son, who is calling us to see Him, to know Him, and to share in the life which comes only from Him.

    That is the goal of the message of scripture - to unveil the one to us who comes from the very throne of God to show us 'the fulness of the Godhead' in the veil of humanity.

  4. Howard

    Re-edited comment (due to omission):

    Through faith, and I do not say that glibly. Flesh and Blood alone does not reveal the one who stands before us here, and even those who followed Him found it hard to accept, never mind understand, what Jesus was teaching. Only the Father grants us, through opening of the Word to us, to see that it is Christ Himself, the only begotten Son, who is calling us to see Him, to know Him, and to share in the life which comes only from Him.

    That is the goal of the message of scripture – to unveil the one to us who comes from the very throne of God to show us ‘the fulness of the Godhead’ in the veil of humanity.

  5. Jonathan

    Glen, good point about how the Scriptures contain the interpretation. The cooking is done. But cuisine varies from culture to culture: I've had times when I just didn't know how to go about eating what was in front of me. Sometimes I needed a crash course in how to eat, just to get started. 2000 years is a long time for cooking styles to change. It might be perfectly cooked, but if no one helps me negotiate the dish, I might still go hungry.

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