"I Don't Know"

At least that's what Joel Osteen says about a lot of important things. Read his interview with Larry King here. Thanks to Denny Burk for this link. Sigh.

Al Mohler had a great piece on preaching the other day. He followed it up with a like-wise excellent article entitled Is This Evangelicalism's Terminal Generation. Check out his June 23rd piece.

You all have to know about Bible.org, don't you? What a great site.

Saddleback Church actually has a Hula Dancing Ministry. No kidding. Thanks to Slice of Laodicea. Can it get any nuttier?? Well, maybe - check out SOL's article on Jed Clampett Opens The Word.

Here is a great post about preaching. Thanks for the heads-up, Milton Stanley.

Have a great weekend!!


Bumble said...


This is not directly related to your post - but you are many times my senior, so I need to bounce off some questions on preaching with you...

I was extremely challenged by a long article about "Christless Preaching" by Michael Spencer. It has many good a solid points, but I think the author is also bias against the church growth leaders like Rick Warren too. (I am still on my usual wimpy position, couldn't make up my mind on one side or the other but rather learning from all sources).

But the article made me wondered if I had faithfully expounded the Word of God, especially in the last two sermons on Joseph, which it carried a distinctive life-principles-preaching flare to it. If true expository preaching is "preaching what the author intended", then I don't think squeezing every passage to make it point to Christ would be expositional either.

Yes, Michael is right about a sermon not centered on Christ would work even in a Jewish synagogue, but aren't they still the people of God? Aren't we going to worship God in the heavenly new Jerusalem with many Jews too?

Hhm, what do you think about this whole spectrum of "Christ-centered-preaching" and "Christless-preaching" here?

And yes, I don't buy Osten!

Peter Bogert said...

Bumble - I'm going to think about this a bit and post over the weekend. I feel Spencer is right, but I also have some problems of going too far in the other direction, if that can be done. I'll write about it in a day or two!


bumble said...


Thanks for taking your valuable time to chew on this. One of the preachers I hung out with on the net offer his take on it as follow:

I think "preaching Christ" is our ONLY job. But I must
hasten to add that I doubt whether the afore-mentioned author
and I would agree in our definitions of what constitutes that
kind of preaching.

I guess the finest preacher ever to "preach Christ" was,
well...Christ! And His model of preaching at times fits the
Rick Warren model, at other times He is more didactic,
at still other times He is something akin to Billy Graham.

You notice how Jesus uses real-life as an entree to truth?
You see how He speaks about the things that matter to
the "man on the street"? It's all a part of the story of
Jesus. And He wasn't always talking about Himself.
Mostly He was talking about His Father's love for people.

Yes, preach the Blood; yes, identify and denounce sin;
yes, preach sound doctrine (although the word 'doctrine'
is able to make strong men blanch in terror!). But also
"make the message clear and plain, Christ receiveth
sinful [people]"...loves them, in fact! And His way is the
way life was intended to be lived. So tell them how to
live it.

The second-best preacher of Christ was, in my opinion,
the Apostle Paul. Does he not get into day-to-day life
issues? Is his every word concerned with the cross? No,
though admittedly he does make much of the cross...as will
every Bible preacher.

To my mind, the notion that every service has to have an
altar call and be preached to contrive a person's response to
that altar call is a thing alien to the larger history of the
church and of recent innovation (mid-to-late 1800's).

I am not opposed to such services, don't get me wrong. I
merely believe that we have been unbalanced in that regard.
Too much focus on conversion, too little on discipleship and
a life of worship.

I "hear" what the author is saying. I understand his concern.
But I also think he may be saddling up to go to war over an
exaggerated view of the situation. Look, not even every
book of the Bible mentions God. Are we to look with suspicion
and a jaundiced eye upon such writings merely because they
have no overt and bare-faced reference to God?

Life is not lived at the same force and volume in all of its
seasons and events. Worship that preaches Christ assumes many
forms. I like the saying that is attributed to St. Francis of
Assisi: "Preach Christ (or, sometimes it is, "Preach the
Gospel"): If necessary, use words."

Of course, it IS sometimes necessary to use explicit words as
I have mentioned above. But sometimes our mouths may
whisper Christ while our lives SHOUT Him.

Or that's the way it looks from my cage...

Milton Stanley said...

You're quite welcome, Peter.