Friday, November 18, 2005

Let's stop preaching biblical principles

At Eucatastrophe (in an article published earlier at BP News), Ed Spetzer shares his reflections on ministry, including these thoughts on preaching:
I’ve preached a lot of sermons that were more about my opinions than God’s Word. Sure, they were based on biblical principles (“love your wife,” “don’t worry,” “work hard”) but not grounded in the biblical story of redemption. Then, Donna (my wife) told me, that after all our years together, she felt that she did not know the Bible well. As her pastor, I had taught her how to be a godly person, but not how to understand our God revealed in the Bible.

The need for biblical preaching has never been more urgent. Biblical preaching is more than common sense truth with biblical proofs taken out of context. Instead, it is letting the agenda and shape of Scripture determine the agenda and shape of the message. I’ve learned that I have not taken it seriously enough – and I think I am not alone.

Ed's right. Are we listening?


Anonymous dan said...


Here is the link where I found the article:


6:45 AM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Dan. I've updated the post accordingly.

9:35 AM, November 18, 2005  
Anonymous Royce Ogle said...

I agree completely. One of the greatest needs of the church is bible preaching and the lack of it is the cause of it's impotency. The scriptures must be the final authority on both faith and practice in the life of a believer, and in the life of a congregation.

The scriptures even trump traditions.

Preaching through books of the bible rather than topical preaching gives a preacher a better chance of allowing the bible to speak rather than the preacher.

Great Blog! Keep up the good work.

10:58 AM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Royce. I agree with what you say about preaching through books of the Bible being superior to topical preaching. Peace.

4:41 PM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Phil (Col 1:27-28) said...

What he is stating here is just the tip of an iceberg and the full consequences of this deficiency of not instilling the life of God and God's word into our people, has yet to be fully realized.

I am so burdened about this issue, and I have been for quite some time now. I cannot effectively tell you how much or how deeply this issue burdens me.

We have failed a whole generation or more and for that we deeply need to repent as Church leaders. I most certainly do and have, yet grieve I do, regarding this whole loss.

I for one do not yet know what the answer is, except in the mercy and grace of Christ Jesus.

I keep praying that the Lord Jesus would reveal what His course for us would be to see this changed, reversed and restored as it ought to be.

I so desperately do not want this to be one of those too much water has gone under the bridge to turn it around, kind of deals, for I believe there is still good reason for hope.

But we must begin to bring change to this issue sooner rather than later.

Sorry if this simply sounds like one man's ramblings.

Blessings in Christ Jesus!

6:01 PM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

It doesn't sound like one man's ramblings at all, Phil. You clearly feel passionately about this issue, and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts here.

I hope it's not too late for this generation. I for one am committed to expository preaching, and I think many preachers are doing the same.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, brother. Peace.

7:03 PM, November 18, 2005  
Blogger Kim said...

One of my former Sunday School students came back from being away at school last summer, and he told me that when he got to university and was immersed in the secular culture there, he realized how very little he knew about the Bible. He said he knew lots about how to behave, but he knew very little about the message of the bible. That really struck me.

My husband and I teach 7th and 8th grade students, and we are the only teachers who are teaching through a book of the bible this year (I and II Kings). Everyone else is doing a "topic."

6:40 AM, November 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Be enouraged, Kim. You're doing right to focus on the Scripture rather than a topic, as we've discussed before. My wife is teaching a class for students in the middle grades and is also focusing on the Scripture--having them learn it, memorize it, etc. It wasn't until she began teaching our own children that we realized how much they hadn't been getting that before.

7:44 AM, November 19, 2005  

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