"Truth” is a difficult subject in this pluralistic culture, and “the truth” is even more troublesome. Speaking the truth from the pulpit can result in an invitation to speak it at your next church. Speaking it in the community can earn you the label of narrow, intolerant, or irrelevant. Yet the preacher’s call is to be a speaker of truth–the truth of God in Jesus Christ.
What does it take to speak the truth faithfully as a preacher of the gospel, and for that truth to be heard? You can assume the role of the angry prophet, starting every sentence with “Thus says the Lord” . . . and insure that your hearers push the “off” button in their heads within two minutes. Or you can become the pronouncer of soothing religious platitudes, and insure that nothing you say will ever have any impact on anyone’s life.
Or you can learn, as Samuel Wells has learned, that speaking the truth to a reluctant culture means telling the Christian story alongside the contemporary American story. It means helping your hearers perceive both the harmonies and the dissonance between the two. Finally it means inviting them, with both conviction and humility, to decide how their own story is going to be shaped by this truth. Wells shows all preachers how to remain true to their calling as speakers of truth, while being actually heard at the same time.