Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The missing ingredient?

Craig Brian Larsen sees a blind spot in much of today's writing on spiritual formation:
Books on spiritual formation speak my language. I'm a pastor who wants to see people grow into strong disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciplines of any sort appeal to me—spiritual disciplines in particular. That's why as much as I respect those who have written on spiritual formation, I was surprised to find that they have a large blind spot: their view of preaching.

Read books on spiritual formation and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who lists listening to the preaching of God's Word as a first-order spiritual discipline. Granted, the writers typically are not attempting to provide an exhaustive list of spiritual disciplines. If asked, I'm sure they would unanimously say listening to preaching is a spiritual discipline. Still, the writers I have surveyed typically mention listening to preaching under the broader discipline of studying the Word—if they mention it at all.
Too true. Darryl Dash, by the way, shares related thoughts in his essay on preaching out of season.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Eric W said...

If you're looking for a good book on listening and responding to God's Word, you might like Fr. Cantalamessa's book, "The Mystery of God's Word". :)

10:18 AM, December 05, 2008  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I hadn't heard of that one before, but I'll keep my eyes open for it. Thanks, FD, for the recommendation. Peace.

10:57 AM, December 05, 2008  
Anonymous Mark Hollingsworth said...

That's an interesting thought. And I think you are right that listening to, even reading, sermons can be a great benefi to spiritual growth and development.
And that's why I think even preachers need to read and/or listen to other preacher's sermons. When do we get preached to? We need it too, don't we?
Thanks for the post.
Mark

4:53 PM, December 09, 2008  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Yes, I agree that preachers ought to spend some time listening to other preachers' sermons. Thanks for your comments.

7:55 PM, December 09, 2008  

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