Friday, September 07, 2007

Eager to preach the Gospel?

At Gospel Driven Blog, John Fonville has begun a series on how preaching the gospel and how easy it is not to. He's off to a strong start:
In the quest for relevance, success, growth and influence pastors have opted for practical, tip-oriented talks (not sermons). . . .Preaching has become more like a large group, self-help therapy session than an announcement of Good News. . . .

In this ecclesiological therapeutic culture, sermons no longer aim for conversion but at “better living.” Themes such as sin, guilt, condemnation, judgment, justification, atonement and propitiation have been replaced with therapeutic topics such as relationship counseling, sexual counseling, Christian 12-step groups, eight recovery principles based on the Beatitudes . . . parenting strategies, self-fulfillment, i.e., Your Best Life Now, learning true commitment, finding true purpose and true satisfaction, even insights on fitness and nutrition . . . .

The triumph of the therapeutic in the church is an illustration of how the heart of man incessantly cries out for law instead of gospel. Here we see the true fountain of legalism in both principle and practice. Church history shows that this is the way of all declining and backsliding churches.
I look forward to part 2.


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