Mar 27, 2009

Preaching for Eternity

Jonathan Leeman has an interesting post about preaching for eternity, with a particular emphasis on using church history. Read the post


Bryan said...

I agree with Leeman about the deficiencies of "therapeutic" preaching on both the liberal and evangelical sides. The same thing could be said for how we structure our prayers and liturgies, the hymns/music we choose, etc.

In addition to telling stories from Church history, which is a wonderful suggestion, I would also add that preachers should sometimes just tell the biblical story in an engaging, memorable way. There is a temptation to "mine" a story for practical tips or to search for hooks into a pre-determined theological script. As Leeman says, if the gospel is primarily the story of what God has done and is doing in the world, then the story itself has power and relevance. Even without the "practical application" that some people think it needs in order to be interesting.

On the subject of telling stories, we are talking about Balaam and his donkey in my SS class in a few minutes. That should be fun. :-)

I hope you're having a nice Sunday!

Charles Savelle said...

Balaam is an interesting character. By way of a shameless plug, I have an article on Balaam coming out (sometime this year?) in Bibliotheca Sacra. The article is based on a paper that I delivered last November at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society entiled Good, Bad, or Ugly: Canonical and Extra-Canonical Portraits of Balaam." I will probably make an announcement in the blog when the article comes out.

Bryan said...

I'll watch out for that article. What is your take on why God is angry that Balaam is going with Balak's men, after having told him to go a verse earlier?

Charles Savelle said...

My sense of the passage is that God's original prohibition was part of His perfect will, but the persistence of Balak and the vacillation of Balaam (24:18-19) resulted in God permitting Balaam to go, as a reflection of His permissive will.

Milton Stanley said...

Good word. Thanks for the link.