Too many of our evangelists are unlearned, and too many of our scholars are unevangelistic. We will never win the world by the evangelists alone. We must train a strong group of scholarly pastors, who will go into the church with the soul-winning spirit and power and build evangelistic churches, and from them as centers win the regions round about. A seminary should not put a premium on ministerial stiffness, dryness, and starchiness, and turn out stilted clergymen. An unspiritual, unevangelistic ministry will never be an efficient ministry. The soul-winning spirit and compassion for lost men in our seminaries will enlarge their popularity and favor with the people, contribute to their spiritual life, keep them in vital touch with God and with the unseen realities of religion, and thus preserve our teachers and students from theological drift in doctrines and life, keep them close to the common suffering heart of a lost and ruined world, turn their energies constantly out of the uplifting movements among men, build in them the constructive spirit of missions, and thus make them power-plants, pulsating with the life of God. The final test of a preacher's efficiency is not found in what he knows about the deep things of God's Word, but in what he does with what he knows in bringing in Christ's kingdom among men.
Properly speaking, Christian theology is the statement of the meaning of the Gospel. A man does not have to have a complete philosophy of the whole universe in order to grasp and state the meaning of the Gospel of Christ. This is not to say that we should not, so far as we can, relate the truth of the Gospel to every other truth. But it is to say that one does need a theology that he can preach. And a theology that is not preachable is not good theology; there is something wrong with it. A good way to test your theology is on a sinner. The Gospel is good news. It is good news because it announces spiritual redemption for the whole world of lost sinners. Theology is the statement of the meaning of this good news in terms that will appeal to the people of our day. This is the thing that makes Christianity a preaching religion. When Christianity ceases to be a preaching religion, you may know that it has lost the passion that grows out of the experience of redemption; that is, it has ceased to be Christianity.