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Reformation Preaching: The End Of Misty Questions And Sweet Stories (via Michael Reeves)

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If you’re attending Christian worship expecting to learn something from the Bible, that’s a fruit of the Reformation.
From Michael Reeves:

By the 15th century, only a small percentage of people could expect to hear their priest preach to them regularly in their local parish church. The English reformer Hugh Latimer spoke of “strawberry parsons” who, like strawberries, appeared but once a year. Even then, the homily would often be in a Latin unintelligible to the people (and, perhaps, to the priest).
As for the content of these rare delicacies, they were highly unlikely to go anywhere near Scripture. The vast majority of the clergy simply didn’t have the Scriptural knowledge to make the attempt. Instead, wrote John Calvin, pre-Reformation sermons were usually divided according to this basic pattern:

The first half was devoted to those misty questions of the schools which might astonish the rude populace, while the second contained sweet stories, or not unamusing speculations, by which the hearers might be kept on the alert. Only a few expressions were thrown in from the Word of God, that by their majesty they might procure credit for these frivolities.

As a result, ignorance of the Word and gospel of God was profound and widespread.
n eye-catching contrast, the Reformation made the sermon the very focal point of the church’s regular worship, and emphasized it architecturally through the physical centrality and conspicuousness of the pulpit.

Read the rest of the article here.

Well, at least you shouldn’t be hearing misty questions or sweet stories if you’re attending a church with a Reformation heritage.

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