Christians Who Are Learning

Phil Steiger's blog Every Thought Captive has a couple of great paragraphs on the centrality of our people learning that reminds us about what's important.

Phil quotes a book by Darrell Guder (I've not read the book personally)
Rigorous biblical learning must be the missional congregation’s priority. The congregation intentionally commits most of its time together to biblical study….This means that the members are learning to think Christianly; they are learning how to see the world through the eyes of Jesus’ they are becoming biblically literates in order to be effective translators of the gospel into
their world. [160]

and then says:

Here! Here! I know there are several good and faithful ways to handle Scripture in a service and in a congregation (exegetical vs. topical preaching, etc.), but this statement of Guder’s has the ring of truth to me. I have personally stuck with verse-by-verse teaching myself because of this conviction, and I know that there are plenty of faithful pastors and congregations that “indwell” Scripture through a more topical way of preaching and teaching. But I have also noticed that many times when a pastor says they preach topically, what they mean is, “I preach a kind of pop-psychology, self-help gospel.” The point of their preaching is taken more from the latest TV show or book written by an NBA coach than from Scripture.

If we are to be salt and light, if we are to be the kind of witness people recognize as distinct from the outside world, then Scripture must be our focus and our text, no matter our style of pulpit ministry. How else are we, the flock of God, to learn what our God desires of us? If the church does not hold up the standard of Scripture, who will?


If you are looking for worthwhile sites by other pastors, check Adrian Warnock's site. Adrian has been blogging for some time, and has consistently helpful input for preachers. Check him out!


John said...

A good argument. I lead two Bible studies at my church, and generally take a verse by verse approach, digesting a chapter of Scripture for an hour-long study. I'm about to start a seven-week study of Hosea in that manner.

I've noticed a variety of people bringing their Purpose Driven Whatever to church, but leaving their Bibles at home, which is worrying. I've even seen people read out of Rick Warren as with the reverence once reserved for Scripture, which is even more worrying.

As for me, I'll stick to the Bible.

Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the link, Peter. I'll be writing about it at Transforming Sermons on Monday. Peace.

Phil Steiger said...

Thanks for the link and the kind words!