Safe Preaching and the Prophylactic Gospel
About once a month, I have the privilege of contributing an article to the website 1517 Legacy. Here is the piece for this month, in which I dive into the story of Jonah, who is the best biblical example of “Safe Preaching and the Prophylactic Gospel.” There is a link at the end where you can read the remainder of the article. Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
Jonah wanted nothing more than to be a safe preacher. His Lord could get carried away with love at times. He let it get the best of him. Jonah recognized this, and it pained him to see God act so shamefully. The prophet certainly knew better than to let God act that way toward such a hellhole as Nineveh. How embarrassing that would be. So when it came time to preach to this ancient Sin City, he played it safe and slipped a prophylactic over the Gospel. He showed God how to be a better, more responsible Father, one who is protective of his forgiveness. Or, at least, he went out of his way trying—quite literally. He went out of the way that the Lord had sent him. God said, “Go to Nineveh,” so Jonah hopped a ship bound for Tarshish.
Fast forward through the stormy sea, the man overboard, the three days stomached in a fish. Finally, arm-twisted into the pulpit, Jonah did preach. And, lo and behold, these sinners heeded the divine word. They fell all over themselves repenting. In what is one of the most comical scenes in the Bible, they even forced their animals to fast and clothed their cows in sackcloth! True to his word, God relented. He forgave them. The city of sinners became the abode of the absolved.
And Jonah? He was fit to be tied….. (to read the rest of the article, click here to visit the 1517 Legacy website)
What we need in our fragmented world, full of hurting people, is the love of Jesus Christ, who welcomes home sinners with a grace that knows no bounds. My book Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is packed with reflections that go that extra mile of grace. Again and again, they present the Christ who is crucified and risen for you. Please take a moment to check it out here. You may also be interested in my collections of hymns and poetry entitled, The Infant Priest, which you can purchase here. Both books are also available on Amazon, as is my booklet Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing (also on Kindle). Thank you for your prayers and support!