The Practicality of God’s Word

By David P. Smith - Posted at The Confessional ARP:

One of the common pleas made of preachers and teachers of God’s word is for them to be practical or relevant. The pleas is not without warrant. One merely need consider the alternative. Do we want them to be impractical? Obviously not. Well, on second thought, maybe so. It depends. What do we mean by practical and impractical?

Some will simply assume that the answers are obvious. Such obviousness can often amount to simply repeating the term practical: “You know make it practical!” Perhaps they will expand on that statement with: “Make it something we can put into practice! Show us how to do it!” Again, the pleas is not without merit. But in a culture that has largely rejected the One True Living Triune God the desire for practicality is often controlled by pragmatism. The latter is the chasing after the results one wants based on the means one has for achieving them for the purposes that one wants to achieve. God’s Word is practical, but its notion of practicality confronts human idolatry and its pragmatism. That is another way of saying that the practicality of God’s Word exposes human pride, presumption and impotence that masquerades as gospel humility, truth and power. Among other things this raises the question: How does God’s word mandate that we define the word practical? Put another way: What does God word teach us about how we ought to think about putting it into practice?


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