On Navigating the Narrow Lutheran Middle in Our Preaching Between Gospel Negligence and Gospel Obsession in Reference to the Temporal Promises of God's Providence
In our preaching, there lies a narrow middle road between neglecting the gospel of forgiveness for other parts of God’s word and obsessing over it to the exclusion of other parts of God’s word. Specifically, this paper will focus on the question: where do God’s promises of temporal providence fit in relation to the gospel? Through first defining ‘gospel’ and ‘providential promises’ and their complementary relationship, this paper lays out a groundwork for a discussion on the practical choices preachers make regarding the emphasis they will give to each over the general flow of their preaching. Both are valuable and both will be needed either more or less depending on the situation of the preacher’s hearers. The overriding principle is to evaluate the hearers’ needs and preach the text, doing both according to the whole context of Scripture, which includes providential promises but revolves around Christ’s forgiveness.