What I Read Online – 02/19/2013 (a.m.)

19 Feb
    • Recently, a couple of books and websites have referenced me as a good example of how to exegete and “engage culture” in the task of preaching. They include citations of certain cultural references in my sermons. While I know this is meant as a compliment, for which I am grateful, I also have some concerns about the way this practice has been described. I can easily imagine that some (especially younger) preachers will aspire to imitate the method and miss the underlying principle.
    • First, you need to preach the text in its scriptural context; second, you need to preach Christ and the gospel every time; and finally, you need to preach to the heart. Put another way, you should preach the truth, not just your opinion; you should preach the good news, not just good advice; and you should preach to make the truth real to the heart, not just clear to the mind
    • One of the keys is in how we define “the heart.” Remember that according to the Bible, the heart is not primarily the emotions but rather the seat of our fundamental commitments and trusts, and therefore it is the control center of the whole life. So to preach to the heart means to go right for the commanding commitments of people’s lives that drive their desires, thinking, feeling, and action.
    • There are many working definitions of “culture,” but I think one of the best is that culture is a collective heart. It is a set of commanding commitments held and shared by a community of people
    • The “cultural references,” then, are simply my way of entering the world of my hearers, helping them understand at a deep level what is shaping their daily work, their romantic and family relationships, their attitudes toward sex, money, and power. I seek to make plain the foundations of our city’s culture in order to help people understand themselves more fully and imagine what it means (or would mean) to live as a Christian here.
    • I can still remember my first R-rated movie to see in the theater, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  Of course I still had to cover my eyes in many scenes, but it was a big day for me. I was growing up. I had always been the kid that didn’t get to watch anything, even though everyone else got to see everything. Exaggeration? Probably. To be honest, I’m very thankful my parents exercised a great deal of caution towards what movies my sister and I could watch. In all likelihood, the forced abstention only enhanced the moment I finally got to watch Arnold promise me that [he] would be back.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 19/02/2013 in Current Issues


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