Friday, January 20, 2012

Around the Horn

Here’s a good article on evangelism. It reminds me of an old idea called the 3x5 rule, the idea of which is to contact five people a day, or 35 a week (for those who are math-challenged) with the goal of getting three sit down meetings to talk about the gospel. People who talk about evangelism but don’t talk to unbelievers about the gospel are not serious about evangelism.

Here’s a good article on heavy-handed leadership. Unfortunately, this is the default for many, and not just in fundamentalism. Leaders have to be bold, but humble. As I tweeted recently, you can’t lead if you aren’t willing to disappoint and even infuriate people, but do not do it lightly. Too many leaders have an arrogance that they know it all. They are unwilling to let people differ with them.

Here’s a good post by Sean Lucas on the age-old homiletical question about the difference between preaching and teaching. He says,

“Whereas my major goal in lecturing is information, my major goal in preaching is transformation. And because this is the case, I don't feel the burden to give people as much information as possible; rather, I feel the burden to give people the information necessary about the text so that they will see the connections to their own lives and be moved to seek God in Christ as a result. Application is the major focus of the sermon.

I think he is right here. Pastors, don’t fall prey to the tendency to tell everything you know about a text. It makes you long, boring, and confusing. Since there is a rather large chance that your congregation doesn’t need to know there are four interpretive options for something, just tell them what they need to know in order to do what God has said. Save the rest for a teaching time, such as a midweek Bible class. My general rule is that if an interpretive option is obvious in the text or shows up in the translations that I know people carry, then I give a brief word about it. Otherwise, I just say what I think it says.

Lastly, a few posts on David and Goliath have been making the rounds recently. Matt Chandler kicked it off with this explanation. Over a year ago, I posted my take on David and Goliath here. I think Chandler’s view is moralizing—a sanctified moralizing since he put Jesus on the front of it, but moralizing nonetheless. You can read a few other takes here and here. I think Jesus is clearly and obviously in the OT, and I think we should preach that way. But I think Chandler is headed down the wrong path.

And as a bonus, what in the name of anything good and decent was Chandler doing at Furtick’s Code Orange Revival. That was disappointing.


Anonymous said...

what the name of anything good and decent was Chandler doing at Furtick’s Code Orange Revival .

Assuming you meant what in the name of anything good was MC doing at Code Orange, my answer would be that he was preaching the Gospel--something which none of the other speakers were doing, assuming any of them even know what it is. I'm not quite following how that would be disappointing to you.

Larry said...

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Yes, what in the name ... thanks for that.

The reason it is disappointing is that Scripture gives us pretty clear instructions on what to do in a religious gathering purportedly about Christ where the gospel is not being preached. And we are not told to go preach to them, but to have nothing to do with them.

While I can give a great deal of latitude on some of these kinds of things, this one seemed a clear instance of crossing the line.

After Chandler rightly confronted Furtick at the Elephant Room last year, to see him join hands with him now was disappointing to me.