Apr 24, 2013

Some Challenges Related to Preaching the Decalogue

I recently posted on some of the advantages of preaching on the Decalogue (see here). Now I want address some of the challenges. I see at least five challenges. 

First, there are differences of opinion concerning the issue of the Mosaic Law and the Christian. Some see a great deal of continuity and others see much discontinuity. 

Second, one has to determine which version of the Decalogue will be used since different traditions have somewhat different lists (see here) and which text will be foundational (Exodus or Deuteronomy).

Third, trying to maintain a balance between affirming the significance of the Decalogue and yet not overemphasizing it can be a challenge. Many Christians already view the Ten Commandments as more important than other Scriptures and a sermon series could exacerbate the problem.

Fourth, relating the individual commandments with the teaching of Jesus and the rest of the New Testament can require a bit of work. The most obvious example of this challenge is the Sabbath commandment.

Fifth, one has to resist the tendency to slip into purely ethical preaching and avoid reinforcing the popular misconception that salvation or the Christian life consists solely of a list of dos and don’ts.

Ultimately these challenges should not dissuade one from preaching through the Decalogue. These five challenges are just that, challenges.

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