Continuing the list begun yesterday from the preface to Al Mohler’s 2008 book, He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World. Six reasons why preaching has been undermined in the contemporary church and is weakened at this point in time. Here we go:
4. Contemporary preaching suffers from an emptying of biblical content. When preachers do preach a text, they often empty it of its content, choosing not to wrestle with the meaning of the text, but rather to use it as a point of departure for their list of pithy points. Not only does this fail the text itself, but it also fails to present the text in its broader context, thereby not presenting the broader scope of God’s message.
5. Contemporary preaching suffers from a focus on felt needs. Following the course charted by Harry Emerson Fosdick, many contemporary preachers seek to counsel the perceived needs of contemporary patients in the pew, rather than addressing the real needs of sinners. So, consequently, much preaching is concerned more with career advancement or financial security, than it is with the real need of sinners before God.
6. Contemporary preaching suffers from an absence of the gospel. Too much preaching fails to stand up as Christian preaching.
While Mohler does recognize and affirm a contemporary resurgence in expository preaching, both in younger generation preachers, and in some seminary programs, he remains deeply concerned about the general trends in contemporary pulpit ministry. Is his evaluation accurate? Is it complete?