Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two Kinds of Popularity

Tim Keller, drawing from a letter from Calvin to a hot-tempered preacher friend, has some good wisdom for preachers (and really, for every Christian), on what kind of popularity is good to seek, and what is vainglorious:
    There are two very different motivations for adapting and accommodating our message to the sensibilities of a group of people. The first motive is ‘ambition’ — we do it for our sake, for our own glory and approval. The other reason we may accommodate people is for their sake, so that we can gradually win their trust until they become open to the truth they need so much. The first motive will so control us that we will never offend people. The second motive will help us choose our battles and not offend people unnecessarily.
Read here, including the relevant section from Calvin's letter.

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