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One question I am not asking in this message is: What are the natural things that a preacher can do to increase natural knowledge and natural feeling? I have no interest in that question whatsoever.
What I mean by natural is what Paul meant by it in 1 Corinthians 2:14:
Person - Things - Spirit - God
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
What are “the things of the Spirit of God” that the natural person does not accept and is not able to understand? They are the content of preaching. Paul had just been referring to what he imparted through preaching: the glories of Christ crucified and risen and reigning, and all that God is for us in him. He had just said:
This is what the “natural person” cannot grasp. This is what is “spiritually discerned.”
The chief and ultimate aim of preaching — namely, to bring people to see and savor and show the glory of Christ, and all that God is for us in him — is an aim that cannot be accomplished by merely natural means. It cannot happen in a preacher or a hearer who is what Paul calls a “natural person.”
Things - Preacher - Knowledge - Feeling - Preaching
So, I am not asking: What are the natural things that a preacher can do to increase natural knowledge and natural feeling? Preaching is not a subspecies of natural rhetoric. It is not a means of using language to persuade the natural mind to simply act differently. Rhetoric — natural oratory — can move the natural mind in stunning ways. Whole movements in society can be awakened and sustained by such rhetorical skill. Recall Winston Churchill or John Kennedy. Indeed, very large churches can be grown by natural rhetorical...
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