langham logic 1.0

The Langham Logic, as it was articulated by John Stott, was too compelling for me to ignore. I first heard it expressed in 2008, as the rationale for the ministry of Langham Partnership:
God wants His church to grow up;
God's church grows up through God's word;
God's word comes, primarily, through preaching.
And so the question to ask is 'how can we raise the standards of biblical preaching?
I am a believer. Under God's hand - and at His direction - I am quite content to give my life for this cause. But that must be Langham Logic 2.0 because yesterday I encountered a longer, fuller and earlier version in Ian Shaw's chapter, 'John Stott and the Langham Scholarship Programme' (in this volume, 314-5).
God wants his church to grow into maturity in Christ.
Nothing leads people into this Christian maturity like the Word of God.
The Word of God reaches people mainly through faithful biblical preaching.
Biblical preaching/teaching are the primary God-appointed responsibility of pastors.
Pastors catch (or lose) their vision for preaching in the seminary (theological college).
The seminary exerts its influence on students primarily through its teaching staff.
Seminary teachers need to combine academic excellence with personal godliness. 
Later, 'We long to see the world's seminaries staffed by godly evangelical scholars,               so that the world's pulpits may be occupied by faithful preachers of the Word of God'              (John Stott, in 1998; see also here).
Biblical preaching and theological education. Pastors and scholars.
In their most consecrated form, they are ever so strategic.

It is a great chapter by Shaw, as he tells the history of the Langham Scholars programme. I never knew, for example, that until 1998 all USA-based Langham Scholars studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) - where I studied in the early 1980s and where I heard John Stott give his classic message on the call to pastoral ministry from 1 Corinthians 4 (listen to it here on the All Souls' website).

Shaw quotes Stott quoting HCG Moule: 'Beware of an untheological devotion and of an undevotional theology' ... before including a Stottian warning to scholars returning home 'an academic success but a spiritual failure, a 'doctor' (qualified to teach) but no longer a 'disciple', possessed by no new vision, power, or holiness' (319).

With Chris Wright and John Stott - in Sydney, in 2002 - on Stott's final visit to Australia.
[NB: This photo was taken at Sydney Missionary & Bible College where Stott was just about to preach to their community. He preached the very same message on 1 Corinthians 4 which I heard at TEDS exactly twenty years earlier and I remembered large chunks of it. Then he moved into a Q&A session with the students where the 'growth without depth' story, which I have re-told in so many places (and in a post just last month) and which became so instrumental in my call into Langham, took place].

nice chatting



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