Friday, June 08, 2007

Drooling for Jesus

Is anyone else sick of therapeutic preaching?
Me, I'm not sick of preaching, not exactly, but my tolerance for certain kinds of preaching has reached its nadir. That means, I'm intolerant of it. The kind of preaching I'm talking about here is the kind that presupposes that the listeners are all a simpering bunch of weak-kneed ninnies who have just been up all night crying. They've got all kinds of problems and burdens in their lives, and all they really need is a good spiritual bucking-up.
That's from In the Clearing. Bob's follow-up post further explains the problems of therapeutic preaching:
. . .when therapy is the dominant use to which we put the Scriptures, then we will pick and choose the passages that seem the most helpful, and stay away from those that may seem disturbing. In fact, we will not be allowing the Bible to interpret itself, but will be sifting it through a therapeutic sieve. This use of Scripture is in fact a serious misuse.
It certainly is. As the apostle Paul suggests (1 Cor. 14:3-4), preaching should not only encourage and console, but build up the church. Building up or growing in Christ, as in all areas of life, is not always a pleasant experience. It may require strain, sweat, and pain.

Update: Bob suggests a faithful alternative to therapeutic preaching.


Post a Comment

<< Home