Preaching is Dead vs Dead Preaching

There is a significant difference between using the wrong means to achieve a goal, and using the right means poorly.  I like the way David Gordon puts it in response to those that claim preaching is not necessary any more:

I concur with them that the church is failing in many circumstances, but I attribute this not to the church’s employing the wrong means, but to the church’s employing the right means incompetently.  If the patients of a given hospital’s surgeons continue to die, we could, I suppose, abandon the scalpel.  We might also consider employing it more skillfully.  My challenge to the contemporaneists and emergents is this: Show me a church where the preaching is good, and yet the church is still moribund.  I’ve never seen such a church.  The moribund churches I’ve seen have been malpreached to death.

How true this is.  I’ve yet to meet someone who opposes expository preaching that has tasted of the real deal.  People tend to reject a caricatured, or an inadequate, or an incomplete version.  The preaching of a church has a massive amount to do with the health of the church.  Show me a truly healthy church with poor preaching.  Show me a spiritually impoverished church with consistently good preaching.  I suspect you can’t do either.

It certainly takes much more than preaching to build a healthy church.  But it seems that it can’t be done without.

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