Friday, September 08, 2006

"Out of Ur" on How Not to Preach

Out of Ur, the blog of Leadership magazine, has posted a two part series on preaching, critical of what the poster is calling "practical preaching," and it's worth a look.

Here's a bit of the first post:

"When our goal is to 'bottom line' our preaching, we look in our text for the 'so' and preach that conclusion. For example, our sermon drives home the truth that we need not be afraid. If we have been effective, our brothers and sisters go home with this outpost of truth established or enlarged in their thinking. But here's the rub. On Tuesday, when some frightening crisis looms in their lives, they may remember, 'the Bible says we are not to be afraid,' but they don't know how to be strong. They don't know the trail, the process the mind and heart follow to fearlessness. We exposed them to the conclusion without the thinking that makes that conclusion work."

And, a piece of the second post:

"The Bible spends much more time on shaping the spiritual mind than commanding particular behavior. We need far more training in the ways of grace, of spiritual perceptions, and of what God is really like, than we do in how to communicate with our spouse. Understanding the glory of Christ is far more practical than our listeners imagine. Properly preached, every sermon based on a passage of Scripture is fundamentally practical. Every author of Scripture wrote to effect change in God's people. It is our job as preachers to find the persuasive logic of that author and put that clearly and persuasively before our people through biblical exposition."

The author places a high value on what he calls "God's logic," and I'm not sure I follow his, mostly because "logical" is not on my list of adjectives to describe scripture in it's entirety. (Does that make me post-modern? It does to him.)

However, the idea that scripture is persuasive, and has a way of colonizing the mind with a truth sometimes alien to it, is well taken. Scripture, and the proclamation of scripture in preaching, has the possibility not just of showing us how to act, but how to think differently. By altering our very perception of the world and how it works results in a deeper kind of Christian living, and a Christian much more able to profess and explicate why he or she engages the world differntly.

1 Comments:

Blogger Elliot said...

That's very thought-provoking.

Friday, September 15, 2006 3:39:00 PM  

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