Saturday, June 30, 2012

preaching style??

Equipping the saints (Ephesians 4) and teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20) EXTENDS beyond the Sunday morning preaching style! We can only really and honestly defend topical vs 'verse by verse' preaching if we realize that the duty of the church can't be fulfilled in one hr during the week.


First, let's admit that it's quite possible and happens quite often that someone preaches through a given book and STILL avoids certain subjects (btw the Calvary Chapel grp which, like the SBC quite theologically diverse from church to church, well they all teach verse by verse, and yeah many still aren't teaching truth) yes some will take a large passage then pick which area they will emphasize and consequently leave out other things. Second, if a preacher takes a slower more careful approach, then exactly HOW LONG, how many yrs, how many decades before one congregation is given a solid and balanced theological diet?

Let's then look at two characters from church history that are often referenced to in regards to preaching, JOHN CALVIN the verse by verse expository prince and CHARLES SPURGEON the quintessential topical prince of preachers. Some will mock and point out the struggle of Spurgeon to come up with a text to preach.....hmm BEFORE you do that, how many Spurgeon sermons have you come across and thought, 'that was lame!' yeah didn't think so, and how many times did he preach, teach, write letters/articles etc during the week? And yet most complain of how difficult it is to prepare 2 sermons week (i'll take Spurgeons fruitful 'turmoil' anyday.....ah but when the word and the presence of God are a delight, it's hard to be unfruitful and unbalanced).

Some will point to Calvin as a good example of a verse by verse expositor who feed his people, yes I agree he is a good example, it is praiseworthy how timeless his teachings are and how diligent he preached through the word.....the question however is, do you really want to follow his example? How many times did he preach to his church verse by verse every week (10 times every 2 weeks + other things), now THAT will get your congregation familiar with the word of God!!

So what's the point? What am I advocating, which one do I choose? I don't honestly have a preference, for both COULD be good, both COULD be bad, and a mix COULD also be good or bad, that depends on the preacher......but MORE importantly it depends on how intentional the church is in stressing the need to study the word, equipping the saints with the tools to study the word, modeling a delight and need to study the word, yes even holding especially the men (husbands/fathers) accountable to teach their families the word of God! Extensive and Intensive bible study is crucial to the health of the church body, and yet too often, this is ignored while taking pride in a certain preaching style when the congregation is not grasping the truths given from the pulpit and though they commend what they heard, they fail to recognize a distortion of that truth when a false or erroneous teacher addresses the same subject. Yes the leadership of a church bears a major role in this duty, but each individual must also realize that they are not without blame, for they too must desire and seek the truth, diligently studying and applying the word of God in their lives!!

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