Monday, June 30, 2008

Preaching or Lecturing?

OK, I don't know this guy, but I came across his blog on and this post really hits the nail on the head. You can find it in its original form at I have copied and pasted it below for your convenience.

So a funny thing happened on the way to Twitter the other day . . . . OK, that’s not a good beginning. But really, some friends and I were on Twitter the other day (Have you seen those things that say “Twitter is not chat?” Well then why’d they put a “reply” button?) and I was sort of thinking aloud, which I find the internet good for. I’ve been thinking about a couple of different things lately: preaching and Christ.

I’ve been thinking about preaching because, the more I do it, the more I grow to love it. It has become one of the highlights of my week. I’m not saying I’m great at it, just that I look forward to it. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel “alive” behind the pulpit; like it is a vital moment, a battle between kingdoms and there is much at stake; all of which, of course, is true. Plus, as we look to the new church, it’s been a great time to think through many issues.

I’ve been thinking much about Christ lately because I do that a lot. I’ve become fascinated once again with Christ, particularly as the center of all Scripture. Jesus Himself tells the Pharisees that the Scriptures bear witness of Him:

John 5:39-40: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus unfolds for two disciples how all of the Old Testament is actually about Him:

Luke 24:25-7 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

All of this has prompted the Twitter discussion I hinted at but never got to: if a sermon is not ultimately about Jesus Christ, can it truly be considered a sermon or is it just a lecture? If Jesus is not the point, I have become convinced that the “talk” in question cannot be considered a sermon, at least not for Christians. It’s sad, but much of what passes as “preaching” in the modern evangelical world is nothing more than self-help methodology wrapped up in Christian terminology. But isn’t the Christian message itself that we cannot do it on our own? Christ is our only true perspective.

What do you think? Is this an overstatement?
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