Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's in your preaching?

Often in popular preaching today it seems that the goal is to get through the interpretation of the passage in order to arrive at the contemporary application, which typically evidences the preacher's own hobbyhorses and recent diet of reading or movies. Usually, application equals law-to-do lists-rather than using the passage to actually absolve sinners of their guilt and rescript them in their new roles as those who have been transferred from the covenantal headship of Adam to Christ.

Michael Horton. Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (p. 145). Kindle Edition.

I think back to most of the in-person preaching I have heard in the past 5 to 10 years. While my opinion of some of it was okay (at that time), I now look back and say to myself, "Where was I really challenged to grow?" or "What did I hear that was not something that most in the audience did not already agreed with?" or "Yeah, I remember reading that book too."

I still go back to inviting my heroine addicted brother to come to church with me, and him actually saying yes. Then, after the service, when I had heard what at the time I thought was powerful, I dared to ask what he thought. He replied, "I thought it was lame." It took me a while, but I think so too now. What we had heard was a rah-rah session for believers. No gospel, just a statement of we as Christians are right! Jesus is the answer for white, middle-class America. Sign-up now for your spot in heaven!

But now that I see that I am a sinner, that is not what I want to hear. I want absolution. I want to know that Christ offers that to me. I can go to the movies myself.

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