Preaching that builds a gospel culture

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Charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.  2 Timothy 2:14

Strive to excel in building up the church.  1 Corinthians 14:12

“My inclination and turn lead me chiefly to insist on those things in which all who are taught of God agree.  And my endeavor is to persuade them to love one another, to bear with one another, to avoid disputes and, if they must strive, to let their strife . . . be, who shall most express the life of the Son of God in their temper and conduct.

I preach my own sentiments plainly but peaceably, and directly oppose no one.  Accordingly, Churchmen and Dissenters, Calvinists and Arminians, Methodists and Moravians, now and then I believe Papists and Quakers, sit quietly to hear me.  I can readily adopt ‘No Popery’ for my motto; but Popery with me has a very extensive sense. . . . Whoever wants to confine me to follow his sentiments, whether as to doctrine or order, is so far a Papist.  Whoever encourages me to read the Scriptures and to pray for the teaching of the Holy Spirit and then will let me follow the light the Lord gives me, without being angry with me because I cannot or will not see with his eyes nor wear his shoes, is a consistent Protestant.”

John Newton, The Works of John Newton (Edinburgh, 1988), VI:198-199.

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