Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Around the Blog in 80 Seconds: Preaching and Preachers

Here's an excellent post called "Avoiding the 'Homiletical Hermeneutics'" over at Expository Thoughts. A good reminder to us preachers--and to the listener--to be careful that we hear the voice and intent of God in the text.

Theocentric Preaching writes a brief post to help identify when a sermon goes anthropocentric.

Tom Ascol at Founders has posted some excellent questions from Isaac Watts for young ministers (and old). Check out part 1 and part 2 and be stirred toward greater holiness whether you are a minister or not.

Fide-O is asking a good question: "Is Singing More Important Than Preaching?" Just yesterday, a good brother came to my office and repeated the oft-heard one-liner, "You can make up for bad preaching with good singing, but nothing can make up for bad singing." What's your opinion? Okay... this one isn't about preaching per se, but "it'll preach!"

Russell Moore is asking, "Is Stepin Fetchit Back?" over at the Henry Institute. This is a great commentary on DeWayne Wickham's column on the digital depravity that defines much of the entertainment culture's view of African-American men.


Shawn Abigail said...

The warning against anthropocentric sermons is helpful. However I do disagree with the point on imitating Biblical characters. Paul said in Phil 4:9, "The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you." Evidently imitating Biblical characters can be a good thing. I'm more concerned when people, particularly the younger men, start imitating their favourite preachers (e.g. mannerisms, sayings, accent, etc).

Where we do need to distinguish is between trying to be like Biblical characters, and trying to have the same faith as Biblical characters. As an analogy, I worked at a company owned by a very dynamic billionaire who wore a goatee beard. And in an area of the country where very few men wear goatees, they were very popular in that company. People were trying to imitate the boss in a most superficial manner. If they really wanted to imitate the boss, they should have come up with a good idea, started their own company and built a billion dollar fortune.

We can imitate Biblical characters in the most superficial and meaningless manner. Or we can imitate them in their life of faith, and use them as a proof that the doctrines of the Bible and the life of faith really can be lived out in the lives of real people.

FellowElder said...

Hmm.... I think the point is basically a good one. A shallow appropriation of biblical characters without due attention to redemptive-historical context would be inappropriate. Without doubt, these things were written for our instruction... but simply holding up a person from history to encourage imitation will very often lead the sermon into a man-centered perspective. I don't think the post intends to rule out legitimate lessons we can draw from the lives of others; I think the aim is to suggest that if that's how we primarily approach biblical characters we will focus more on man, felt needs, "life strategies" and less on the glorious God that is revealing Himself in scripture.