Fresh Preaching

I just stumbled across a quote that brought a wry smile.  I don’t agree with it fully, but it is worth considering.  The chapter is written by Carl George, although he doesn’t cite the source for the quote he includes:

“Almost all ministers are well educated theologically.  Most seminary graduates have more to teach than anybody wants to learn.  If we spend any time at all preparing for a given sermon, we will meet the needs of the listeners.  As Dan Baumann, author of a widely used preaching textbook, says, ‘Anyone who simply sets forth the text and gives its meaning distinctly will be accused of freshness.'”

Now I don’t want to make too much of the “almost all ministers are well educated theologically” statement.  To do so would mean pointing out that this is probably a uniquely North American phenomenon.  I might be tempted to point to the largest denomination in one African country I heard about, in which only four pastors have any college level education, and none of whom have any seminary training.

I agree that most seminary graduates have more to teach than anybody wants to learn.  But what about “If we spend any time at all preparing for a given sermon, we will meet the needs of the listeners.Surely that should be “perceived needs” of the listeners?

And then there’s that final sentence.  “Anyone who simply sets forth the text and gives its meaning distinctly will be accused of freshness.”

How true.  How sad.

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One thought on “Fresh Preaching

  1. I quite agree, it is sad that the truth of the Word is unknown to so many. I’m new to the exposition style and trying to make it my own. I feel I have a true calling to that style and to do so in the children’s area. What really pushed me into it is the appalling lack of Biblical knowledge the coming generation has.

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