Collected Thoughts

The weekly PreachingToday newsletter contained this quote:

"The danger in topical preaching is we may short-cut the exegesis of a passage, fail to get the true point of the biblical author, and instead attach his words to a topic far different from what he had in mind."

The author, Donald Sunukjian, writes this in an article on how to keep topical preaching biblical.

In one of last week's blogs (actually a re-run of a 6/25/04 article), Al Mohler writes, ". . . but for a sermon to be genuinely biblical, the text must set the agenda as the foundation of the message - not as an authority cited for spiritual footnoting."

Michael Spencer had an article last week called "On Christless Preaching." Worth the read.

Joel Osteen issued a clarification of his answers on the Larry King show. I've never been interviewed on national TV and probably never will be. But some of these folks who are used to this kind of exposure surely ought to get the Gospel right if it is in fact what they believe.

Tim Challies has an article on Open Theism here.

Slice of Laodicea points us to an article by RC Sproul that is well-worth the read.

Thanks to Jon Trainer for posting a link to something I find myself feeling more and more: I am not an Evangelical. Face it, terms and labels do have some use. Evangelical used to mean conservative. More and more it seems like the term is a haven for all kinds of birds. I guess I'm going back to conservative protestant or something like that.


Bumble said...


I guess what I have problem with are a few minor details with Michael Spencer's definitions of "Christless Preaching".

I would propose that atleast the sermons of type (1) "Sermons based entirely on Old Testament stories", (2) "Sermons that teach lessons and principles", and (4) "Sermons about moral and cultural problems" could be valid "didache", especially when you take into the context that the sermon's audience was the people who are already committed to the Lordship of Christ. Unless you can evaluate the greater context of how a church balance its "kerygma" and "didache" on its sermon diet over a course of time, you won't be able to evaluate "if your pastor preaches a Christless sermon" or not. Knowing the make-up of the audience also helps in the evaluation.

I expanded on this more in the light of Titus 2:1-11 as well as the patterns I see from your Proverbs series over on my blog at

Thanks for your examples of balancing both the solid exegesis of the text as well as the relevance to life in your sermons.

Peter Bogert said...

I think that in dealing with an OT character or narrative, one of the the keys to making it a Christ-centered sermon is talking about the person's relationship with God as the basis for their behavior. Again, I think the revisions in Christ-Centered Preaching and Preaching Christ from the Old Testament explain this better than I could.

Certainly we understand that we don't want to lapse into life-lesson moralism that is not rooted in an understanding of relationship to the God of the Bible.

Bumble said...

"One of the the keys to making it a Christ-centered sermon is talking about the person's relationship with God as the basis for their behavior."

Ahah! That made a lot of sense.

Thanks! (I don't have the revised edition of Chapell)

Peter Bogert said...

Email me at, Bumble!

Milton Stanley said...

Well, you beat me to the Preaching Now quote, but I'll still be posting about it tomorrow morning! Peace.

Peter Bogert said...

I win, Milton!