Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Duty of Every Preacher to Disclose Christ: It's Not Easy

I think I said yesterday that I was done this series, but I thought of another thing to say about it, and it is this: preaching Christ from all the Bible is not easy.

I say this because I've argued strongly for this type of preaching. Yet as I've reflected on my own argument and my own preaching, I'm aware that I am not the exemplar for this style. By God's grace I hope to preach Christ faithfully from all Scripture, but I am aware that I am young, unpracticed, and in need of seasoning and skill. Just this past week I "preached" in a class on James and walked away from the sermon realizing that I had not exposited Christ adequately. So in encouraging fellow Christians to approach the text from a Christ-centered way, I am speaking to myself.

Furthermore, it takes much effort and energy and care to preach Christ well. It's not the easiest thing in the world. It will take time to transition from a more single-focused mindset--one devoted to exposition of the text--to a double-focused mindset, in which one both exposits the text's original meaning and the meaning of the text for God's people today (which must include relation to Christ). I sometimes think that we are naturally moralists. That is to say, it is easy and natural to preach the Bible moralistically. The Bible instructs us not to do such-and-such, and we tell the people not to do it. I can see in my limited experience that I am naturally good at this style of preaching. I'm a natural moralist. This is a problem. I am now working on moving beyond mere moral restatement. I want to be able to flesh out how Christ relates to the text's point. I have sympathy for my fellow preachers and would-be preachers who are attempting to do the same.

I hope it is clear that in stating ideas on this blog, I am stating them as a young, inexperienced man. I am not an authority on anything. I try to think about things from a Christian perspective and to share those thoughts on this blog. I try to write persuasively and to make my arguments with force and logic. That seems to me to be a good way of beginning and conducting discussion of ideas. However, as I do so, I am quite aware that I am not the voice of reason, the authority, the maestro. I know this all too well. I hope that readers of this blog do too.


Blogger Dad said...

I've enjoyed this series, and I don't think I have read any of the books, so maybe I should, and may be I will.

Your last post was truly encouraging, in respects to you personally, but I think in general. This is a difficult task. We get married and promise to love our spouse, but we settle into a routine and other things fill our life. We have kids and promise to love them and minister to them, but they get taken for granted after a bit and are sometimes easier to ignore. Some of life's most important things are the basic elements, the closes people to us. So is Christ, yet does he get pushed aside because we have more important things to study, teach and live?

Not easy!



3:43 AM  

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