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Discussion in 'Preaching' started by Kinghezy, Jan 11, 2019.
Alan, if you need an accomplished salesperson to help you, I'm your man! LOL
I think that you are misunderstanding what is considered ministry. A pastor caring for his flock is ministry. A pastor writing a commentary for public consumption is not.
No, that's still presupposing (without any attempt at demonstration) that ministers being paid for their literary labor is some kind of innovation. If you have any basis for that other than your feelings, I'd be interested to hear it; but if you maintain that position, it's your job to do the research rather than assuming that you're right until you're proven wrong.
It's easy to correct that assumption in the case of Spurgeon, because precise information is fairly readily available. Also, in his case the mechanism of payment was fairly straightforward: publishers paid him either to secure the copyright or in light of sales. But many authors would publish a prospectus in a catalog for a book they planned to write, and then people would subscribe to fund the production of the book. As Chris mentioned, many other books were produced by individual patronage, whether secured before the book was written or sought by the dedication.
Consider J.H. Merle d'Aubigne's remarks in the introduction to The History of the Reformation in the Time of Calvin:
The author would naturally prefer that people purchase the edition whose purchase rewards him, rather than a pirated version that does nothing to compensate his work.
Just by way of notation, as far as my reading goes, and if memory serves, the first full time English Divine who was able to live off writing as a means of sustaining himself, was Henry Hammond, a Westminster Divine. I recall reading that when putting together his bio.
As I recall, he wrote 58 works, and many of them quite long.
It would be hard to prove a practice that was not around before it occurred, right? This is a problem with trying to prove uninspired hymns were sung in the early church. I am speaking of a principle that makes my feelings so.
Earl, being cute is not an argument. You may have heard the phrase, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." As the one apparently maintaining that proper pastors don't charge for written teaching, the burden of proof is on you to show that this is the case. You speculated (with no basis in fact) that this was an innovation in the past 70 years. It was shown that you were wrong in that, not by a rounding error of 10 or 15 years, but by more than double your guess. And now you admit that your only basis for a historical claim is your feelings. My feeling is that I will not accept a historical claim proffered with a complete lack of evidence.
No principle makes your feelings so. That is not how Biblical inquiry goes, where we ask about what God said in the text, not what we think he should have said. That is not how theological inquiry goes, where we ask about what the truth is, not what would feel right to us. That is not how historical inquiry goes, where we ask what did happen, not what our preconceived notions suggest should or must have happened. Your method is bootless, and vaguely asserting that some principle undergirds your instincts does nothing to make your instincts correct. As we have seen, your instincts have already misled you on this topic.
If you want to argue that no pastor should charge for written or recorded material, open Scripture, open the Confessions, open the books of church order, and spell out the arguments. If you want to argue that pastors have not done so, you need to research the history. Your feelings may be interesting as psychology or autobiography, but they're quite unrelated to historical fact.
I hear you. Does a lack of evidence of Jesus or The Prophets charging for what they said or wrote count? So far as me using a date, which I chose off the top of my head, was simply an inquiry as to when the practice of charging for Pastors teaching began.
As I was thinking about this today I wonder if Jesus turning over the tables was something that might bare some line of thinking on my part. Was the practice of exchanging different currency for exorbitant rates all Our Lord was upset about? Was another reason all those that sold doves also sold them at exorbitant rates?
I totally understand why I am getting so much push back on this issue, and really wonder why people think to charge for a Christian Conference, or to help the church with good teaching is OK.
I think I may send a few dollars to Pastor Strange to look into the history of this practice.
The reason you are getting so much push back from me has a great deal to do with your methods. Choosing a date off the top of your head is simply not an acceptable way to make historical claims. It doesn't bother me that you can't imagine our Lord or his apostles charging for their teaching; but the ninth commandment calls upon you, as a Christian, to do better than to make assertions about matters of historical fact on no basis other then your feelings or what you can imagine.
If you're willing to do the work (or pay to have the work done!) of making an argument, biblical, theological, or historical, I invite you to do so and suggest that you put it on a new thread for the sake of focus. But there needs to be considerably more to it than guesswork and suppositions. If you want to make a Biblical argument, you could begin by rereading the NT with the question in mind: from whence did the Lord and the apostles get the money for their expenses? That would probably be more productive than wondering if a text is relevant.
On the historical side, to help you get started, I'll point out that during the disruptions of WWII, Westminster Chapel did not feel able to pay its ministers a salary in quite the usual way; so they switched to paying a fixed per-sermon fee. The more Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, preached the more they made during that time. This led Morgan to encourage the Chapel to have Lloyd-Jones preach as often as possible, since Morgan was in a better position to survive without the help of the sermon fee.
I would be interested in a biblical or theological argument, assuming there was one (even for devil's advocate purposes). Historical would tell that something occurred but not the validity.
Yes, there are temptations with money. Yes, there are possibly people who have abused the situation. But that does not indicate that that act itself is wrong. The bible is able to show both the danger of wine (Gen 9:22) and the joy of wine (Gen 27:28) without saying "everyone must avoid it". Perhaps there is a similar concept here.
Thread is closed for the time being.