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Harris, Piper

The Fragile Bond of Spiritual Focus

In an agreeable response to Josh Harris’ comments on why you should not use Twitter during a church service, John Piper remarks on the idea that preaching is worship,

There is an assumption that Josh and I share, which is not understood or embraced by all. Preaching and hearing preaching are worship. Preaching is expository exultation. The preacher is explaining the Bible and applying the Bible and EXULTING over the truth in the Bible. The listener is understanding, and applying, and joining in the exultation. Hearing preaching is heart-felt engagement in the exposition and exultation of the Word of God.

This is a fragile bond. The fact that an electric cord is easily cut, does not mean that the power flowing through it is small. It produces bright and wonderful effects. So it is with preaching. Great power flows through fragile wires of spiritual focus.

Perfume can break it. A ruffled collar can break it. A cough can break it. A whisper can break it. Clipping fingernails, chewing gum, a memory, a stomach growl, a sunbeam, and a hundred other things can break it. The power that flows through the wire of spiritual attention is strong, but the wire is weak.

I like what John has to say about the relationship between preaching and hearing preaching, but does that mean everyone has to sit stoically like robots to safegaurd against anyone else being distracted?

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