Archive for the ‘Preaching’ Category

I read an excellent post today by Thabiti Anyabwile regarding the common complaint that traditional preaching should be rejected due to it being a monologue rather than a dialogue.  Thabiti responds (rather clearly, I might add) that traditional Protestant worship service is not centered around a monologue (i.e. preaching), but it is a dialogue between God (who speaks by His Word and Spirit through the preacher) and His people who respond back to Him in praise and worship (i.e. prayer, song, etc.)

Read the post for yourself.  You can find it here http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2011/02/08/whos-doing-the-talking-in-our-church-gatherings/.

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I came across a post by Dr. David Murray today commenting on some of the reasons why there is so little preaching from the Old Testament these days.  He gives the following 8 reasons:

1) Liberalism’s attack on the Old Testament.

2)Ignorance of the Old Testament.

3) Perceived Irrelevance of the Old Testament.

4) Dispensationalism’s unintentional relegation of the Old Testament to a secondary role in the life of the New Testament Church.

5) Bad examples of Old Testament preaching lead us to shy away from Old Testament preaching.

6) Good models of Old Testament preaching are hard to come by.

7) Laziness on the part of the preacher/teacher.  (Let’s be honest… Leviticus is hard to preach.)

8) Prevalence of Christ-less preaching from the Old Testament.

You can read the whole article here http://headhearthand.posterous.com/where-did-the-old-testament-go.


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Several people have posted this on the internet recently, but I thought it might be helpful to some of those who read this blog.  At the recent Desiring God National Conference, Francis Chan spoke regarding the importance of thinking biblically yet remaining humble.  In his message, he addressed 7 questions which we should ask ourselves before we preach or teach others.  Spend some time thinking about these before your next teaching session:

  1. Am I worried about what people think of my message or what God thinks? (Teach with fear)
  2. Do I genuinely love these people? (Teach with love)
  3. Am I accurately presenting this passage? (Teach with accuracy)
  4. Am I depending on the Holy Spirit’s power or my own cleverness? (Teach with power)
  5. Have I applied this message to my own life? (Teach with integrity)
  6. Will this message draw attention to me or to God? (Teach with humility)
  7. Do the people really need this message? (Teach with urgency)

(HT: Jonathan Parnell at http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/seven-questions-to-ask-before-you-preach-or-teach-the-bible) and Andrew Jacobson.)

By the way… you can view or download the audio or video of Francis Chan’s message (“Think Hard, Stay Humble: The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride”) here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/think-hard-stay-humble-the-life-of-the-mind-and-the-peril-of-pride.

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For a review of this week’s study, here are some helpful resources:

–          Read “Believing in Jesus” – a sermon on John 2:23-3:15.  You can find it here https://ramblingpastorman.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/believing-in-jesus-%E2%80%93-john-223-315/.

–          Read the book “Finally Alive” by John Piper.  This is one of Dr. Piper’s recent books and I found it to be extremely edifying.  It is a thorough (and readable) study of the doctrine of regeneration (i.e. new birth or being born again.)  You can purchase it here http://www.monergismbooks.com/Finally-Alive-p-18254.html from Monergism Books.  Or you can download the book in pdf format for free from Desiring God Ministries (found here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/online-books/finally-alive.)  Or… if you are an audio?visual learner… consider listening to or viewing the 16-week sermon series on which this book is based (entitled “You Must Be Born Again.”)  You can find the sermons available for audio or video streaming or download here http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/by-series/you-must-be-born-again.  I listened to these sermons again recently and was quite blessed.  Listen to them if you have the time!!!

–          For a systematic explanation of the doctrine of regeneration, you might consider reading the following theological article by Dr. Wayne Grudem.  You can find it here http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/regeneration_grudem.html.

Homework for Week # 5: How Do We Share the Gospel? – Part 1 – Luke 18:18-27

  • Review your Scripture memory verses (Luke 10:2 and I Corinthians 15:1-4.)
  • Spend some time each day going over the 4-point outline of the gospel (i.e. God, Man, Christ, and Response) and the 4-point outline of redemptive history (i.e. Creation, Fall, Redemption and Recreation) either out-loud or in writing.
  • Engage in at least 1 gospel conversation this week with a fellow Christian or unbeliever. Regarding any aspect of the gospel.  Be prepared to talk about this in class next week.
  • In preparation for next week’s class, read Luke 18:18-27 and think through the questions below:
    • What is the setting of this passage?  (Read the context.)
    • Describe the “ruler” in this passage.  Make a list of his characteristics.  What does this tell us about him?
    • Analyze how Jesus approaches this man evangelistically by answering the following questions:
      • How does Jesus describe God?  Why is this important?
      • How does Jesus describe people?  Why is this important?
      • Why does Jesus quote from the Law?  What is He attempting to accomplish?  Is this effective?  Read Romans 3:9-20 and Romans 7:7-12.  How does this relate to what Jesus is doing here?
      • What response does Jesus call this man to?
      • What does Jesus promise this man if he responds to the gospel?  (Read Luke 18:28-30 for a fuller answer to this question.)
    • How does the ruler respond to Jesus’ evangelism?  Why is this significant for us today?
    • Think carefully about Luke 18:24-27.  What does this teach us about the response of natural man to the gospel?  How does this relate to our study of conversion last week?  (You may want to consider John 3:1-15, II Corinthians 4:1-7 and Ephesians 2:1-10.)
    • What do we learn about evangelism from this passage?
    • How can we apply the principles learned here in our evangelism? Think of some practical answers to this question and be prepared to share in next week’s class.

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Here are three pastors (Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald) talking about the role of the pastor in personal evangelism.  It’s not very long and worth watching…

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The 9 Marks Newsletter for Sept-Oct 2010 was recently posted on the internet.  This issue is entitled “Hell: Remembering the Awful Reality” and it is a clear, biblical reminder of the existence and purpose of hell.  Although hell is an unpopular topic today (even among conservative Christians), it is a reality which we must never forget.  Our belief in the eternal judgment of God provides much of the impetus in our evangelism and worship (i.e. shouldn’t we rejoice that we have been saved from the everlasting wrath of God by the work of Jesus?)

Following is the introduction to this issue, written by Jonathan Leeman:

“Wisdom so often in life prescribes moderation. It‘s wise to eat with moderation, to speak with moderation, to feel with moderation, some would even say to believe with moderation.

But there‘s absolutely nothing moderate about the doctrine of hell. It‘s extreme in every way. It‘s an extreme idea for the mind. It‘s an extreme confrontation for the heart. And it blows against all the rules of social etiquette.

Embracing the reality of hell means setting aside moderation. It means admitting that our sin is dark and heinous to the point of eternal damnation; that the white light of God‘s character and glory justly destroys those who have fallen short of his glory; and that that our non-Christians friends have nothing greater to fear. That‘s tough to do when you have moderate views of your sin, your friend‘s sin, and of God‘s glory.

Embracing the reality of hell also means going against the fallen cultural structures and belief systems of this world, all of which conspire together with our own hearts to repeat the serpent‘s promise of a moderate outcome, “You will surely not die.”

As hard as it is to stare at the doctrine of hell, surely it must be salubrious to our faith to do so from time to time. It forces us to once again reckon with who God is and who we are.”

It is worth your time to read this newsletter.  (I was particularly encouraged, convicted and edified by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson’s article entitled “What Then Shall We Preach on Hell?”)  You can find the newsletter available for online reading or downloading here http://www.9marks.org/ejournal/hell-remembering-awful-reality.

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Dr. Albert Mohler recently posted a brief article commenting on the disappearance of the Bible in preaching today.  You can find it here http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/02/19/falling-on-deaf-ears-why-so-many-churches-hear-so-little-of-the-bible/.

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