Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chappo the Evangelist

Listening to Chappo on Jesus' parables in Luke 8 tonight, was reminded starkly of Ephesians 4:7-13:

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it...It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."

Chappo is well-known as an evangelist and that he surely is. His ability to present truth simply, using effective mind-clinging illustrations born from the vast experience that can only come with age, peppered with great Aussie humour, makes him a joy to listen to.

But a teacher and expositor, Chappo isn't. He tells you the point of the passage but doesn't tell you how he gets it. Neither does he lead you by hand through the passage, like Paul Barnett, so that in great wonder you (re)discover what juicy meaning a plain reading of the passage yields. Nor, does he blow your mind like Phillip Jensen, placing this passage in the vastness of biblical history.

Speaking with him after one of his talks, he isn't quite a pastor either. There seems to have an inability to understand the nuances of living out certain seemingly-paradoxical doctrines.

This is not to put-down old Chappo. It just seemed to me to illustrate Ephesians 4 very well: Paul Barnetts may not be able tell the truth with this much mate-ship humour, but their intellectual depth makes them great contributors to biblical scholarship. Phillip Jensens may not be able to tell the truth with so few words, but they hit you hard with the magnificence of God's word and with the fear of God.

And I'm really glad God gave all types so that disparate abilities can come together, click into place and build up the church till we attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

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