Once, in a sermon on the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost in Bradford, sometime in the 30s, I mused little on the “listening Church”:
…the holy people of God seem to be all in the same boat—certainly all are one body. The support they give to the claims of the priesthood is witnessed throughout the ages. There is nothing invidious between the teaching and the learning Church. The power of the priesthood is the glory of the people; the infallible teaching of the High Priest is their sheet anchor, their repose, their protection, their souls’ peace; and the docility of the people—of the listening Church—is the glory and the vindication of the priesthood…A Month of Sundays: The Foolishness of Father Brown, pp.69-70
…the teaching Church and the learning Church are always together, because each is for the sake of the other; in other words, the whole Church is teaching and the whole world is learning.
What would be the reaction if I preached this in the average church today?