The Cry for Relevant Biblical Preaching

Written by Haddon Robinson in Preaching to a Shifting Culture (Baker)

The cry of the hour, we are told, is for relevant preaching. What thoughtful person would disagree? Who would want to argue for irrelevant preaching? When we talk about irrelevant preaching, however, someone needs to ask, "Relevant to what?" As food is relevant to hunger and water is relevant to thirst, the most relevant preaching for the inhabitants of the twenty-first century is biblical preaching. As nothing else, it speaks to our wilderness times crying for a voice. Without a "Thus saith the Lord" behind our preaching we are pathetically irrelevant. Preachers who take the "experts" of the culture more seriously than the Scriptures may end up being neither relevant nor biblical. If they do not believe that when the Bible speaks, God speaks, they will not only misdiagnose the fundamental needs of their listeners but also have nothing of substance to offer them. Too much of current preaching resembles cotton candy that appeals to people's hungers but possesses no value as food.

I should also point out that this book would work well in a study group situation as it contains questions at the end of each essay/chapter.


John said...

Slam dunk.

When these critics cry out for relevant preaching, some of them are really calling for more prooftexting into non-Biblical topics, such as dieting.

I suspect that one contributing factor to this trend is diminishing attention span (guilty as charged, here). It takes some effort to wade through Scripture.

Peter Bogert said...

There goes my sermon series on "The Jesus Diet." Sigh.

Milton Stanley said...

Great thoughts; thanks for passing them along. Putting Biblical preaching into practice is part of building a stronger church. Peace.