Schilder’s Fourteen Rules for Preaching on the Suffering of Christ

19 October 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

I was rummaging through some old files from seminary and came across this.  I thought it worth sharing:

K. Schilder’s Fourteen Rules for Preaching on the Sufferings of Christ

1.  Recall that in the whole account, it is God who reveals Himself in Christ who stands in the centre.

2.  Always keep in view the unity of the human and divine natures in Christ’s sufferings.

3.  Always keep in mind the inner unity between the “moment” and the “time” in Christ’s sufferings.  Point-actions (aorist) and line-actions (imperfects) are one with Him.

4.  Always acknowledge the unity between Christ’s active and passive obedience.

5.  Search for unity between Christ’s word and His deeds.

6.  Do not focus on Christ’s blood without recalling the work of His soul and spirit.

7.  Do not draw a parallel between Christ’s sufferings and our sufferings.

8.  The judicial character of Christ’s sufferings must never be separated from the evangelical comfort included in it.

9.  Always take a closer look at the pure human side of Christ’s sufferings.

10.  Avoid and reject all “psychologizing” with respect to Christ’s sufferings.

11.  Recall that Christ’s soul is the only pure one amidst all surrounding corruption of earth and hell.  The system of His work-plan is as perfectly and uniquely maintained by Him as the pure human engagment of the spontaneous reaction of His “to-all-things” and “in-all-things” acting human soul.

12.  Recall that Christ’s suffering was first of all a constant seeking after God among the murderers and secondly a constant seeking of His people from among the murderers.

13.  Recall that the Messianic self-consciousness is not a bare historical knowledge (i.e. effecting a program by rote) but always has a human dimension.

14.  Let all the offices of Christ remain one.

A summary by Dr. J. DeJong of an English translation by Prof. J. Geertsema, slightly revised by Wes Bredenhof.  The original article appeared in De Reformatie, Vol.10, No. 28, April 11, 1930.