Welcome to episode #61 of PROCLAIM! — the podcast that teaches every Bible-believing Christian how to preach the Gospel by any means necessary in many different settings, including using the internet and the new “podcast pulpit”.
Our Scripture Verse on preaching is 2 Timothy 2:15 which reads: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Our quote on preaching today is from Horatius Bonar. He said, “Bold preaching is the only preaching that is owned of God.”
In this podcast, we are using as our texts, the following three books: “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon; “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs; and “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.
Today, our topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 36” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.
(b) A good library. The present-day Christian can also say, with David, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:6). Perhaps we little realize the tremendous debt we owe to men of learning, who have devoted their great abilities and vast store of Bible knowledge to the service of Christ and His people. These men have left behind them, in the form of books, the valuable legacy of truth we now possess. We would do well to take every advantage of this. It can be truthfully said of their sacrificial efforts, “Other men labored and ye are entered into their labors” (John 4:38).
Let no man despise books, for in so doing, he despises what God has given. Teachers are a divine gift for the Church’s edification, whether their ministry is oral or written. The person who foolishly refuses to read books written by sound teachers of the Word must, to be consistent, refuse to go and listen to any of them speak! In doing this, he would be taking issue with God who has given them for the specific purpose of his edification (see Eph. 4:11-16). The only difference between oral and written ministry is that the latter is likely to be more profitable! When a person commits himself to writing for publication, he takes far greater care in expressing himself, lest there should be any misunderstanding of his meaning. Thus these good books only await the opportunity of pouring out their treasures at the feet of the diligent seeker (read Proverbs 2:1-12; 3:13-26). While the Bible must ever have the first place in one’s reading, and never crowded out, these other books will prove to be a very valuable adjunct to it and of much spiritual profit.
Needless to say, it will not be the number of books on one’s library shelves that constitute the preacher’s possession, but only those he has really made his own by personal reading. It can be truthfully said that many a good library remains unpossessed by its owner! These books should be purchased with great care. The advice of an experienced Christian should be sought in their selection. It is far better to have a few really good books than a large number of the other kind which merely take up valuable space, to say nothing of the expense in acquiring them. We shall devote quite a little space, later on, to a suggestive list of books for a preacher’s library.
The preacher should also read fairly widely the best of secular literature, including history, poetry and the classics. In this way he will widen his horizons, increase his vocabulary, become better acquainted with good English, and thus learn to express himself better. It is astonishing how much time is uselessly frittered away during the course of every twenty-four hours, which could have been much better utilized in reading. It is always a good idea to take a book everywhere one goes, and read when the opportunity presents itself.
Let’s Pray —