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Monday, January 08, 2007

Topical Preaching

I understand that there are definitely occasions within a pastor's career in which topics will come up on the fly that need to be dealt with in the church. Such as a death or a cataclysmic world event. However, is topical preaching antithetical to the Gospel itself. In Acts we see the apostles proving Jesus was the Christ time and time again by expositing the Scriptures. Also, Jesus on the road to Emmaus proved He was the Christ from the Scriptures. So, how do topical sermons on building buildings, getting a promotion at work, how to raise your kids, etc. That may mention a verse of Scripture move the Gospel and Kingdom of God forward with the Church. If Christ is not the center of the gathering of God's people together as the Church, are they really the Church at all?? Is the sole mission of the Church not to make disciples? Can we make disciples if we do not teach people about Christ? Will prosperity from motivational speaking keep people from an eternity burning in Hell? Am I being too harsh with this? I am just so disheartened at the fact that so many churches have abandoned the Gospel, to fit in with the culture they are supposed to be reforming.

4 Comments:

At 1:50 PM, Blogger JTapp said...

Churches haven't just abandoned the Gospel, they've abandoned the book of Acts altogether. Church is more of a Sunday club than a daily lived co-existence with rapidly reproducing groups of people in every walk of society. Each congregation is homogenous, very few are truly discipling, reproducing, and trying to develop all the gifts of the spirit present.

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Keith Walters said...

While the apostles did exposit the Scriptures, they did so in a topical fashon. They did not select a single text/passage and exposit it, in the manner in which we think of it, they exposited several passages. Clearly all preaching has a topic. The distinguishing mark of truly Biblical preaching is the topic, and the topic is always Christ. You can cover a subject (marrage, worship, whatever), which would be a topical sermon, and do so in a Biblical manner and expositionally at that. Sadly, Christ is not the topic of modern preaching, man is, and this is true among many who claim to be expositors. Infact I would argue that you can Biblically exposit the Scriptures man-centered reasons, and that is a problem too. That ultimately you reason for being Biblical is your benefit and not God's glory, which is so often the case in legalistic circles.

Basically my point is that you can preach topical sermons exegetically, so I don't think you can completely dismiss the whole genre.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Refmergant said...

Keith,
You are quite correct that the big problem is that the topic of most preaching today is man and not Christ. The question I pose to you is this. Was a letter of Paul meant to have the middle read first, or was their a logical order to it? Is there a pattern to Exodus that makes it easier to understand if it is taught from beginning to end, instead of piecemeal? Therefore if all of Scripture does indeed point to Christ, and each book is a self-contained prooftext of Christ, would it not be best to read, teach, and, preach as the divinely inspired author was revealed to write? I do not argue that their can be poor motives for any method, however, that does not mean that no method can be superior to another.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger SMITTY said...

I look forward to your delivering of the Word this Sunday, my friend.

 

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