Lightfoot Quote of the Day

The doctrine of the Λόγος grew up between the close of the Old Testament era and the opening of the New. It was an important period of preparation, the value of which cannot be overrated. The seething of all the diverse elements, the fusion of opposites in the order of thoughts, it was when the ‘fullness of time’ (τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου--- Gal. iv.4) had come, that God sent into the world his Son, born of woman.’ The more one studies history, the more one feels the force and significance of St. … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Seven

It is certainly true that preaching can be an act of folly if done poorly or stupidly or in a boring fashion. So it might be worthwhile to serve up a Top Ten list of things Preachers Ought Not to Do:10. I once saw a preacher do a front flip off the pulpit into a chair below. I would say don't try this in your home church. If you miss, you will never live it down. And what was the point. This is about as dumb as a glassblower inhaling and making a spectacle of himself :)9. No snakes! … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Six

The real job of the preacher is to point away from themselves, not to pander.The endless drive by preachers to pander to their audiences, by trying to look cool, hip, relevant, with it, a man of the people etc. is an act of desperation. This is no way to identify with your people at their best. If you identify with them at their worst, why should they think they must change?The preacher is the agent of Christ. He is called to please God and help the people. He is not called to be a … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Five

A few things need to be said about the ethos of the preacher. Bad ethos can nix a good sermon. What do I mean by ethos? I mean the way a preacher comes across--- aurally, visually, personally, tone of voice, gestures etc. As the rhetoricians will tell you, you need to establish rapport with your audience at the outset, and if you have some 'inhibiting' factors to establishing that positive rapport, then you need to overcome your ethos liabilities. For example, let's say you have a tic--- … [Read more...]

Prisoners— a Thriller

Most folks don't like to go to movies that play out on a big screen every parent's next to worst nightmare---your kids are snatched. I say next to worse, because what is worse is when your child suddenly dies--- trust me, I'm sure about this one. This movie may however prove to be the exception, because it is exceptionally well done, and has enough twists and turns to make it very interesting. There are several times in this movie where you have your suspicions, but then you end up saying--- … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Four

For preaching to be 'good preaching' it needs to be a word on a target. But if the preacher doesn't know the target, he is unlikely to hit it. What this in turn means is that he or she must know his or her people. The more one knows one's people, the easier it is to know what a word on target will amount to. Of course some preachers prefer the buckshot method-- spray a variety things out on the audience and hope something strikes home. It's like a game of paintball where you are aiming at … [Read more...]

‘What a Rush’

Formula One racing. Believe it or not, it's more dangerous and less boring that NASCAR. I've been to NASCAR (heck I'm from the home region of the Pettys) --- it's hot, the cars go round and round endlessly. Some fans hardly pay attention unless there's a dramatic wreck. Speaking of which people tend to get wrecked in the in-field--- Its much more fun to watch Talledega Nights in the comfort of your own home.This Ron Howard movie (2 hours and 5 minutes-- R rated for some nakedness I … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Three

Once a preacher realizes that if he doesn't know the original languages, then he's NOT preaching the Bible but rather a translation of the Bible (however good), he or she then must accept that this necessarily means he is preaching someone else's interpretation of what the inspired text means (for every translation is already an interpretation). This requires some swallowing hard of course. But once the nature of the situation actually dawns on the preacher, that's when a big reality check … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Two

In my last post, I pointed out that preaching seems to be somewhat missing in action within the context of early church meetings in homes, and elsewhere. Of course there is nothing in these NT texts that says or suggests there is anything wrong with preaching in such worship contexts. Far from it. And in an age of increasing Biblical illiteracy it's frankly irresponsible to think that we would be fine without good preaching in the church. We wouldn't, and we aren't, and I say 'we aren't' … [Read more...]