Here I am preparing to preach this Sunday, and it was my preaching - really the reactions to it, meaning that I got in trouble because of the “fallout” - that first spurred me to get in touch with @jacob.mentzel earlier this year and led to my wife’s and my visit to Bloomington in August.
When our senior pastor first asked me to preach (2013), he gave me the book Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chappell. That’s the expected model, I suppose.
Stephen Baker and Mike Foster nailed it on an episode of the Practical Ecclesiology podcast when they said that “gospel-centered” preaching harps on justification again and again and again in hopes that sanctification will automatically happen.
Well, I’m pretty tired of it.
Not preaching. I love preaching. It’s one of my favorite things in life.
But I don’t love that I am expected to approach each sermon like our congregation has never heard the gospel before.
I don’t love having to assume that hearers will be hostile to whatever I draw from the passage and need to be convinced with crafty logic.
And I don’t love being graded on whether I have “meandered” my way to Jesus in sometimes bizarre ways that make me feel like I’m doing violence to the passage.
A friend of mine, who is a son of one of my former pastors, says that Scripture is like ice cream to Christians, so if you’re passing out ice cream cones - preaching the Bible - and no one wants any, something is wrong.
- I’m tired of living by this Kellerland fear that the Word is more like a dark green vegetable that requires a lot of bribing and cajoling to get your children to even tolerate it.
Of course some of this is due to my own weakness and temptation, but the mindset we here have set up, which I suspect may even trace back to our (PCA) seminary and church planter training, certainly does not help.
I’m weary of denying God’s powerful, authoritative word while I ought to be proclaiming it, friends.
I’ll take whatever you got. Observations, encouragement, rebuke, anything. These concerns are legitimate, aren’t they?