Monday, March 07, 2005

Baal and the North American church

Here's another gem from the Christianity Today interview of Eugene Peterson:
Do we realize how almost exactly the Baal culture of Canaan is reproduced in American church culture? Baal religion is about what makes you feel good. Baal worship is a total immersion in what I can get out of it. And of course, it was incredibly successful. The Baal priests could gather crowds that outnumbered followers of Yahweh 20 to 1. There was sex, there was excitement, there was music, there was ecstasy, there was dance. "We got girls over here, friends. We got statues, girls, and festivals." This was great stuff. And what did the Hebrews have to offer in response? The Word.
What about today--is the Word enough?

4 Comments:

Blogger Rev. Rick Hill Jr, D.Div. said...

Absolutely, without a doubt “The Word” is all The North American Church needs. The problem we have today is not “The Word” but moving our congregation’s to live by “The Word” 24/7 365 days a year. The Bible has an answer for every problem, incident, or situations that may arise in our lives. It is our responsibility as Pastors to teach our congregation’s tom use the “The Word” as a manual for everyday life, utilizing their strong relationship with the Lord through prayer which allows Him to guide their lives with the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I know I am Preaching to the choir. I have to be honest Brother Milton; I am always reluctant to post comments on Transforming Sermons as well as Blogotional and Stronger Church because I have a great deal of respect for all of you. However, I do read you all daily. I am home recently having major back surgery I will be homebound for about 3 more months so would you please keep my family and I in your prayers. If you would, I would like to e-mail you I have some questions I will include my e-mail if you would not mind corresponding.
In Him,
PastorRick@serenitythruhope.org

9:20 PM, March 07, 2005  
Blogger NathanColquhoun said...

I would say that the Word as we know it today is not enough. The word is our 66 book Bible and we tell everyone that it has an answer to everything that happens in our lives. When in fact, the bible doesn't do that at all. The bible gives answers to incidents that have happened in the past, and with some other issues (i.e. Job) it says that we won't understand. The bible encourages us from historical stories but then tells us that we aren't living those stories, we are living our own and tells us to move on and solve problems, incidents and situations using what Christ has given us, being the Word, the Holy Spirit and himself.

So i would say that 'the word' is not enough. Christ is enough i would argue. The trinity is enough. The word however i don't think entails all that is enough, unless you were to say it is enough because it points us to what is enough.

9:56 PM, March 07, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Sorry to hear about your back, Rick. I will be praying for you and your family. And thanks for reading this blog every day. Peace.

6:21 AM, March 08, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Nathan, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I agree with what I think you're saying: that the Bible is not simply a template where we face a situation in our lives, flip through the Bible to find the same one there, and do the same thing the Bible says. But I do think the Word, as expressed in the Bible, transforms and equips us to face any situation faithfully, obediently, and even joyfully. The difference is approaching the Bible as a source of transformation rather than simply information.

As this idea relates to preaching, I've heard it best described this way. The early-20th century model (which most preachers, I think, are still using in America) involved taking the Bible text and translating it in an effort to make it relevant to the lives of the hearers. A better model, I think, is to invite the listeners into the story of the Bible, to make us relevant, so to speak, to the message of the Word.

The Word includes more than simply the words on the page of the Bible. The Word of God is also present in preaching. For Christians, it also resides our hearts, where it does God's work of transformation.

6:35 AM, March 08, 2005  

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