The Methodist magazine Catalyst recently published this article I wrote on preaching as daring to speak about and for God. You’ll find more along the lines of this argument in my forthcoming book Preachers Dare.
Barth said that Christ is not only the content of faithful preaching, public speech about and addressed to Christ; Christ is preaching’s active agent. It’s not a sermon until Christ utilizes the sermon to walk among his people (Bonhoeffer). Christ elevates a sermon from an exchange of religious information to a miraculous, personal address by Christ. Says Barth, preaching rests upon the bold assertion Deus dixit, “God said.” By the grace of God, in even our poorly wrought sermons, God speaks.
We are able to preach because, as Bonhoeffer said, there’s only one preacher—Christ. The sermon is the most distinctive practice of the Christian faith because of the sort of God we’ve got. God is relentlessly self-revealing, doggedly determined to be in conversation. We speak in the light of the wonder that the Triune God not only speaks to us but also miraculously enables us to hear.