Editorial: Preaching And Teaching The Parables Of Jesus -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 13:3 (Fall 2009)
Article: Editorial: Preaching And Teaching The Parables Of Jesus
Author: Stephen J. Wellum

Editorial: Preaching And Teaching The Parables Of Jesus

Stephen J. Wellum

Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Wellum received his Ph.D. degree in theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has also taught -theology at the Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Northwest Baptist Theological College and Seminary in Canada. He has contributed to several publications and a collection of essays on theology and worldview issues.

Kent Hughes begins his book on Mark’s Gospel recounting what happened to E. V. Rieu, one of the world’s famous scholars of the classics, a number of years ago. After having completed a translation of Homer into modern English for the Penguin Classics series, he was then asked by the publisher to translate the Gospels. At this time in his life, Rieu was sixty years old and a self-avowed agnostic all his life. Hughes recounts that when Rieu’s son heard what his father was about to do, he said, “It will be interesting to see what Father will make of the four Gospels. It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of Father.” By God’s grace, within a year’s time, Rieu responded to the Gospels he was translating by committing his life to the Lord Jesus. As Hughes rightly notes, Rieu’s story is a marvelous testimony to the transforming power of God’s Word. As the author of Hebrews rightly reminds us, “the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12, ESV).

In fact, it is precisely because Scripture is what it is, namely God’s Word written, and that it is by his Word that our Triune God discloses himself to us, convicts us of our sin, and conforms us to the image of the Son, that every year SBJT devotes one issue to the specific book or portion of Scripture which corresponds to Lifeway’s January Bible Study. We do so not merely to increase our knowledge of the Scripture—as important as that is—but also more significantly to bring our thought and lives under the microscope of God’s Word so that we learn anew to be those who not only hear the Word but are doers of it—who do not seek to stand over God’s Word but under it—and to allow the Scripture to do something to us instead of the other way around. Learning more about God’s Word must always lead us to a greater knowledge of God in the face of Christ, which in turn must lead us to a greater enjoyment of God in trust, love, devotion, and obedience. Apart from these results, our study of the Scripture is not doing for us what God intends for it to do.

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