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The ‘Already Relevant Bible’ (ARB)

May 12, 2009

In these days of countless new versions of the bible, I’m coining a new version of my own: the ‘Already Relevant Bible’ (ARB). I’m being inspired by a quote from John Kitchen which I came across in my study of Nehemiah chapter 8 last week:

“Clarity should be the goal of every preacher and every sermon. Clarity is different from relevance. I don’t aim to make the Bible relevant. It is already more relevant than I could ever make it. The Bible is the most relevant book in the world, because it has been written by the timeless, unchanging God. No teacher makes the Bible relevant. His highest aim is to clearly expose its relevance to those who are listening. That resulting clarity leads to changed lives.” .

(John Kitchen, Revival in The Rubble, 167)

7 comments

  1. Wonderful! I think preaching will improve out of sight whereever a preacher is convinced of this ‘already.’ We do not boldly stand in the gap between a distant text and a contemporary congregation. The bible already is overflowing in relevant, pointed address.

    Of course it’s also true to say that the bible is already clear!


  2. […] The ‘Already Relevant Bible’ […]


  3. […] Colin Adams offers this relevant quote on how the Bible already is: "Clarity should be the goal of every preacher and every sermon. Clarity is different from relevance. I don’t aim to make the Bible relevant. It is already more relevant than I could ever make it. The Bible is the most relevant book in the world, because it has been written by the timeless, unchanging God. No teacher makes the Bible relevant. His highest aim is to clearly expose its relevance to those who are listening. That resulting clarity leads to changed lives.” – John Kitchen, Revival in Rubble, 167. […]


  4. Hi Glen, good to bump into you! I got my camp training letter this morning, and then here you are on the Unashamed Workman! It’s been a few years, I hope you are well. Your bro, Neil

    PS Sorry, Colin, I hope you don’t mind your comments space being used like Facebook.


  5. thanks for this Colin, how true. Reminded me of a Jonathan Edwards quote:

    “I would rather be fully understood by ten than admired by ten thousand.”

    I wonder how many preachers’ pursuit of ‘relevance’ is actually a pursuit of admiration?..


  6. Well said Colin. Good and timely reminder.


  7. […] The ‘Already Relevant Bible’ (ARB) […]



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