Preaching the Trinity

John McDade
The Most Holy Trinity (Sunday after Pentecost) offers particular challenges to the preacher. Here, John McDade outlines some pitfalls and offers a view on the best way to understand, and preach, the Trinity. The author lectures in theology at St Mary?s University, Twickenham.

First of all, some comments about what Christian preaching is. Karl Barth, the great Calvinist theologian of whom it was said that God let him live so long so that God could find out more about himself, said that preaching is ?the repetition of God?s promises?. If you are not making ?real? God?s promise of himself to humanity, don?t preach at all.

The preacher needs to be prepared to think through what he holds and what he thinks the Church holds, and to speak in a way that is both ecclesially responsible and personally authentic. The experience of putting things into words as well as we can and speaking them in an effective way to others is at the heart of the most fundamental Christian ministry of all ? the ministry of teaching.

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