I had a conversation with a minister friend who had been involved in discussing what pastors were preaching in their churches. While most seemed to agree that exposition of the biblical text must have priority in the church, few thought it wise to preach consecutively through books of the Bible—particularly with series that extended beyond twelve weeks. I understand the challenge of longer series but also see the value in the long run. The forty-four sermons that I preached through Ephesians in 1990–91, literally transformed my life, theology, and congregation. Eight or ten sermons would not have sufficed to uproot faulty theology and set us on a right course. The fifty-two sermons in Hebrews in 2000–01, sharpened our understanding of the gospel and its application to the whole of life.
What would you say had you been involved in the discussion? Here are a few thoughts that I’ve ruminated on since that conversation.
Here’s a question we should ponder: Do we rely on biblical concepts or phrases in ways that fail to make sense to outsiders?
Let’s ask this another way. Would an unbeliever or a believer unfamiliar with the Bible be able to understand the basic message you are communicating in a sermon? If the answer is no, then we might as well be speaking in a foreign language.
Kindle deals for Christian readers
Crossway’s put a number of titles in the Preaching the Word commentary series on sale this week for $2.99:
- Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon by R. Kent Hughes
- Galatians: Gospel-rooted Living by Todd Wilson
- 2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness by R. Kent Hughes
- 1-2 Timothy and Titus by Bryan Chapell and R. Kent Hughes
- Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ by R. Kent Hughes
A great clip from a message by Matt Chandler:
Along with many others I was hopeful that 2013 would bring change. We were especially excited because an outstanding African-American student, already known and loved by many girls in my sorority, was going through our recruitment process. Yet three days into rush I was informed that this woman had been abruptly removed from our list of potential new members during a private meeting between two alumnae advisers and four student leaders. This African-American student had been eliminated despite impassioned pleas from student sorority leaders in this meeting. I spoke personally with three of these four student leaders, and they each tearfully testified that her removal had been driven by racial prejudice.