Stearns was by all accounts an inspirational preacher capable of captivating his audience. The response of his congregations wherever he preached was expressive emotion. None of Stearns’ sermons are available and have disappeared. He was much an impromptu preacher which may account for some of the failure to uncover any sermons in printed form.
I am continually frustrated that Christians, even pastors and theologians, seem to have an overwhelming inability to discern the times. The Christian world is continually making false assumptions about reality, then making decisions based upon those assumptions. A continued downward spiral is the only result.
I grew up in a generation that didn’t have car seats. We either sat still in the back seat or our father would blindly flail his arms our way, trying to smack a kid or two while repeating, “Don’t make me pull this car over!” When our kids were growing up, they had something we called a car seat, but it looked more like a plastic box with a small mattress tucked inside and a NASCAR racing harness attached.
To my right was Roy Fish, Professor of Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. To my left was a seasoned veteran of evangelism. Both of these well-dressed men seemed enthusiastic about the event. Both of them had previously been asked to serve in this same capacity many times. I had not. Why was I so disinterested?
The story of the thief on the cross has often been filled with speculation, which has distracted from a true understanding of Luke’s purpose of including the event in the gospel that bears his name. Perhaps the controversial, even violent, Eastern theologian Theophilus of Alexandria aids our understanding in his most famous homily and Eastern classic, and perhaps self-reflective “The Wise Thief”.