Preaching

Are You Preaching Christ?

Great article by Tony Carter from http://thefrontporch.org about the need to preach Christ.  He describes three types of sermons that are quite common but lack Christ-centered content.

  1. Prosperity Gospel
  2. Self-Esteem Gospel
  3. Motivational Gospel

Here are a few excepts…

 Motivational preaching is more prevalent than many people realize. Two of the most prominent and popular preachers in America are purveyors of this message. It encourages people to reach for their potential. It takes principles of the Bible, builds a brand around a personality and gets people to buy into the latest catch phrase and fad. The preacher is positioned as a high achiever, and tries to convince you that you can be one too…..

 

The Bible warns us that as the days go on people will want less and less of Christ-centered preaching and more and more flesh-enticing and itch-scratching preaching (2 Tim. 4:3). Nevertheless, the call to faithfulness in preaching remains. We are to preach Christ.

Preaching Christ is to preach salvation in him and him alone. It is to call men and women to repent of sin; sin the world doesn’t want to call sin such as homosexuality, fornication, abortion, greed, anger, racism, injustice, selfishness, pride, et al. It is to remind men and women that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rm. 3:23).

Preaching Christ says that though you are a great sinner, Christ is a greater Savior. It declares that Christ is sufficient to forgive you of all your sin, and to fill you with his satisfaction even as you live in an unsatisfying world.

Preaching Christ understands the Bible is not about your or me, but about Christ (Lk. 24:27Col. 1:28) and his life for our life and his death for our death.  It calls men and women to die so that they may live in Him (Gal. 2:20). In other words, preaching Christ builds esteem in Christ and not in self (Jn. 3:30).

Preaching Christ is universal. It translates and transforms with power in the slums of Calcutta just as it does on the streets of Manhattan. It causes men and women not to long for more of this world but to long for more of Jesus.

 

Read the whole article here http://thefrontporch.org/2014/07/are-you-preaching-christ/

 

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Why Johnny Can’t Preach

Good review on the book “Why Johnny Can’t Preach”

Captive105

Why Johnny Can’t Preach  is a book written by David Gordon stirred with a concern for the decline in preaching today. The goal of the book is directed toward this. As he says, “… my thesis: that many ordained people simply can’t preach.” As such he does offer some good critique and suggestions for today’s ministers and even aspiring preachers and seminarians.

In the first chapter titled “Johnny Can’t Preach”, Gordon begins by saying “Part of me wishes to avoid proving the sordid truth: that preaching today is ordinarily poor.” He recounts the numerous experiences that he and his wife have had where they listened to sermons and wondered what the sermon was about at the end of it. He calls such sermons “religiously useless” because his family would be unable to have an intelligent conversation about the sermon. Because of a lack of good preachers, the churches have settled for…

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The need for theological preaching

I recently came across an article on http://www.thefrontporch.org  talking about “The need for theological preaching”.  Though its written from an African American context, I think the author, Tony Carter, makes some very valid points.  He writes that:

Churches do not suffer from a want of men to preach. They suffer from a want of men who preach sound, theological content. Today, preaching is still expected to be lofty and inspiring, but rarely is it filled with the weighty theology. Unfortunately, most preach with a mind toward moving people to dance, rather than moving people to think big about God, his person and purposes. Consequently, what we have in a great many churches is not preaching at all. We have an exposition of the preacher but not the Bible or the focus of the Bible, Jesus Christ.  Popular preaching today is filled with out-of-context promises but not the doctrine of the God of promises.

 

The bane of the pulpit today, and not only in African-American churches, is “a-theological” preaching. What I mean by “a-theological” preaching is this: weekly proclamation that is weakly presented because it is void of theological content. A-theological preaching tells you what God will do for you, but fails to tell you who God is. A-theological preaching tells you what God did for the preacher, but fails to clearly tell you what God has done in the finished work of Jesus Christ. A-theological preaching is driven by the emotion and personal reflections of the preacher and fueled by similar mundane sentiments from the congregation. Robert Smith, again warns us:

Pastors who are comfortable with the members of their churches checking their minds in the vestibule and entering into the sanctuary mindlessly prepare the worship atmosphere for spiritual excesses and biblically unwarranted emotional experiences. Preaching becomes incessant testimonies given from the pulpit that are totally divorced from the text and becomes promises put on their lips without a “thus sayeth the Lord” certitude. Before one can confidently say, “thus sayeth the Lord,” one has to know, “what sayeth the Lord.”

You can read the rest the article here http://thefrontporch.org/2013/10/the-need-for-theological-preaching/