Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some Theobloggers on Preaching

I came across the following blog posts, written by stellar theologians, on the topic of preaching:

A Teaser on Preaching
The Mystery Source Is....
More on Barthian preaching
Preaching again...
Slouching to Bethlehem
Running to Bethlehem
Don't Disagree but....

You have to read them in the same order as they are posted here for the message's coherence to be maintained.

Initially, we have Carl Trueman quoting Karl Barth's polemic against boring and unbiblical preaching. He rightly asserts the juxtaposition of Osteenian speech-making to biblical preaching. But then he inserts a light jab at supposedly "entertainment-driven" preachers that are "confessional in subscription", the latter ascription I take to mean confessionally Reformed. Not content with rightly pointing out the errors of unbiblical and pragmatic/entertainment-driven preaching, Trueman then proceeds to rail against redemptive-historical preaching. Derek Thomas joins him in bewailing the "Reformed error" of being too hung-up on trying to squeeze Christ out of the biblical text, describing most manifestations of this exercise as "flat." Somehow, all this reminds me of Trueman's prior debate with Graeme Goldsworthy, wherein he tries to pit systematic theology against biblical theology, with his dog being the former, and with Goldsworthy counting him out in the corner with the former's rightful insistence that the relationship between the two theological disciplines is perichoretic.

Sean Lucas then comes into the picture, injecting the anti-venom to what has become a toxic mix of what I would consider as a caricaturing of what Reformed preaching is about. Lucas justifiably brings what it means to be a herald of the Gospel to the forefront by reminding us that the whole of Scripture speaks of Christ and of what God has done, is doing, and will do in redemptive history through Him, and that this is to be the crux of all Gospel preaching—indeed, all preaching! Trueman inquires that must this be the be-all and end-all, a confounding of the indicative with the imperative? To that I would remark that the Gospel is the foundation of all truly God-pleasing responses to the imperatives. Anything less is legalism or moralism.

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