"A Manifesto against Manifestos"
2 hours ago
1. The logic of the scripture is emphasized over its authority.Now, I could spend a great deal of time addressing each point, one or two of which are good, for instance: a single text and single point can be very effective when speaking to unbelievers – I haven’t figured out what a pre-believer is yet, nor do I know of any message that appeals to one. But if adopted uncritically this methodology cannot but reduce the word of God to something on a par with Joel Osteen's “Your Best life Now.” In an attempt to be culturally relevant the offense of the gospel is removed. Let me take just two of the points.
2. The love in the scripture is emphasized over its condemnation
3. The stories in the scripture are emphasized
4. The universal “calling” of the gospel is emphasized over its exclusive “choosing”
5. Preaching stems from a single text, without introducing other texts during the message
6. Preaching involves delivery of a single point sermon
7. Preaching provides intrinsic (internal) motivation while avoiding extrinsic (external) motivation i.e. “you must, you should, therefore you need to,”
8. Preaching involves avoiding technical language
9. Preaching involves avoiding the discussion of the Greek and Hebrew
10. Preaching involves a message that appeals to the pre-believer and believer in the body of the message not just an evangelistic conclusion and application
11. Interaction is encouraged during the preaching/teaching period
- The logic of the scripture is emphasized over its authority. What is the good of logic if the conclusions reached cannot be held as authoritative? That for me is vital. How can I preach if I cannot say: Thus saith the Lord! And having said it command the church to obey the Lord? If the authority of scripture is not established up front everything is up for grabs. That is why the very first article of this church is: “We believe in the absolute authority and accuracy of the 66 books of the Bible.”I could say a great deal more about the last point and can only imagine the scene in our church on Sunday morning if we adopted that approach! Sadly, this is not just a discussion list, it is representative of what is taking place in an increasing number of churches as they attempt to contextualize the message to modern Americans but fall prey to the law of unintended consequences - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...
- Preaching involves avoiding technical language. Try preaching through Romans without getting technical. Justification, propitiation, imputation, election and predestination are deeply technical terms and must be explained in detail. To avoid such language is to avoid essential truths in an attempt to make the message palatable to post modern tastes. The gospel was never palatable to human taste or logic – it was never intended to be.