Thursday, November 27, 2014

Expository Or Experiential Preaching

In your thread, relate what you have learned about the importance of person and spiritual-preparedness in your own preaching ministry. Also explain the balance between academic, expository preparation versus solely spirit-let (or experientially-led) preparation.

            So what is the difference between expository and experiential preaching, they sound similar?  To the untrained person they would not automatically recognize the difference.  Even a trained person for that matter may still have some difficulty recognizing the difference is the latter is done well.  To be an expositor of God’s Word means that you rely on the text and what it meant to the original audience while making it applicable to todays society. An experiential preacher is one who claims to be Spirit lead and does not do very much study of the original setting and focuses the majority of the time on what the Bible does for the person, without using Scripture to fully support their stance.
            As for my preaching I am first an expositor and then an experiential preacher. I believe that in order to have a proper sermon it must be based off of the Word of God, and nothing else. That does not mean we do not use other things for emphasis, but our basis is Scripture. A good example from my life comes from delivering the same sermon to two different groups about a month ago, the first time it was to a small group of guys and I had not prayed as much over the sermon as I should have and did not feel the presence of the Lord during my delivery and relied solely on my manuscript. Fast forward about a week or two and I delivered the same message to a congregation and was “prayed up”. During that delivery I felt the Lord using me and he gave me some illustrations and things I had not thought of or used in my previous delivery. I am willing to bet that the congregation was better fed than the small group of men. Not to say that the Lord could not use my message. Charles Spurgeon says, “Feed the people always with knowledge and understanding, and let your preaching be solid, containing food for the hungry, healing for the sick, and light for those who sit in darkness.”  (An All Around Ministry, Chapter 6)There is less of a chance we can properly be solid if we don’t try and understand the work done prior by the author.

            I think that there is room for both forms of preaching in the preacher and should be used as a compliment to one another. Meyer says, “There are many kinds of preaching, and his the wise and successful man who knows how to very them.”(Meyer, Expository Preaching 25). In my humble opinion we should do the foot work of study saturated in prayer and trusting the Lord to give us the words that need to be heard by the audience. He can use your written words while giving you things to say during your time in the pulpit that we should be open to receiving. I believe that expositors have the chance to be more faithful to Scripture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brief Devotion on Psalm 135:5-6

Here is a brief encouragement from God's word to get you through your day. Be Blessed and bless someone else. -Preach

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One mans view on race relations

Tonight is just one of those nights where sleep eludes me. There is not much on my mind. I see a lot of my friends having a lot to say about the events in Ferguson, MO. I don’t have much to say because I was not there and do not know what evidence was or was not presented. Some may say that I am being racially insensitive by not being outraged over the fact that a young black male is dead and a white cop is not being charged with murder/wrongful death. I say that my response is not to jump to make a rash decision for either side of the case, again because I do not know the whole story. There are only two people who truly know what happened that day and one of them is buried and in the ground.
One thing I saw on my Facebook feed that made me just nod in agreement came from a black friend. She said I quote “This is why we get treated like animals....cause we act like it! Smh Go home and get on your knees and ‪#‎Humbleyourselvesandpray There is rioting and looting taking place in MO right now, which is serving no good to any community all it does is bring people down. I will never understand how a mob mentality works especially when it works against your own people. All you are doing is harming the community you claim to love. It is not the “white man” doing this but the people who live there.

What this community needs to be treated with is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to understand that while it may seem like justice has not been served, leave it in the hands of Christ. He is the ultimate judge and jury. If this officer is not a believer he will pay the ultimate price in eternal torment, and if he is a believer he can experience a forgiveness that no human being can offer. The only reason we have a sense of justice is because of God and what he has engrained into us. Let us learn to trust him and his great plan. I am no authority on race relations; I know that I have friends I would never want to see on either end of this spectrum. I’m going to follow the words of Proverbs 10:19 and stop talking here, this was just one mans perspective on a situation that has caught the attention of a nation.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Review of Persuasive Preaching

R. Larry Overstreet in his work Persuasive Preaching he makes the argument that in the end all preaching is to be persuasive. I would argue that he makes his point very well in this book, while the biggest draw back has to be that it is written more like a text book than a conversation.  This book is not a short read it is over 250 pages that includes all of its appendixes. This is a good book, structured in a manner that makes sense to the reader. There are many good points to the book but one area that I have an issue with is his chapter on invitation. He tries to make an argument from Scripture that there were invitations given after certain sermons. I still do not see where that comes into play even with what he was using as supporting evidence.  One section I did appreciate was the area on the Holy Spirit in preaching. He points out several things that the preacher must do, we mustn’t quench the Spirit and we shouldn’t neglect prayer.

            This book is a good book overall, with some very hard portions to read. It is not a book that I would recommend to the casual reader on preaching. I would however, recommend this work to seminary students and the seasoned pastor who is looking for a way to re-invigorate their preaching.  If you are looking for a good introductory work on preaching check out Expository Preaching by David Helm. It is a good little book that could be read in a few short sittings. So in closing this book gets a thumbs up if you are looking for this type of work, but if you are just looking for a casual read on preaching check out my other recommendation.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Raising Kids

            If there is one thing I have come to learn, it is that raising kids is a challenge in today’s society.  One of the reasons it is a challenge is because I am trying to raise them in a biblical way. That is not something that is smiled upon any more.  While there are some who do not agree with the manner in which I raise my children, my wife and I are doing our best to bring them up on the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
            We have one child who is special needs so that makes things a challenge.  He does not respond very well to discipline. I try hard to not take it personally when he doesn’t respond, but it is challenging to me being “old school.” When he talks back or is disrespectful I have to fight an urge inside of me to want to go off. I do rather well by the grace of God to hold back my “barbaric” urges. I want to live according to Proverbs 13:24 and love my sons accordingly. Out of all the jobs I have ever held being a parent has to be the hardest. I feel like a horrible parent most days when I do not just let my kids do whatever it is their little hearts desire. I want them to become good godly men one day. We try and implement rules and regulations for them that each boy has to abide by; we also try and give them age appropriate chores.

            Proverbs 19:18 gives hope to parents who are struggling with their children, it says “Discipline your son, for there is hope….” There is hope in disciplining your child(ren). The hope we have is in Christ. There is no other hope in this world. We have to learn as parents that when our children misbehave it is not always a reflection of our parenting skills and we need to ask ourselves why are we concerned about their behavior; is it because we are worried about what the person next to us is going to think? It is easy to fall in to that trap, we just have to remind ourselves that we are children of grace and to extend that same grace to our children.  When is it kids just being kids, or something more severe? I am no expert on this topic so please don’t take my words to be the final authority. We go to the final authority which is the Bible.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review of Invitation to Philippians

            Donald R. Sunukjian wrote Invitation to Philippians in 2014. This work was not extremely long (113 pages), but it comes packed with information. Before this work I had never heard of this author, but I quickly grew to like his writing style. If you are looking for a traditional commentary on Philippians this work is not for you. However, if you are looking for a work that helps you think through the work and offers good illustrations then you are in the right place. Each chapter is broken down in to bite size pieces, and is processed in a like manner of a sermon.
            One way this book might be used is if you do not have a trained pastor on staff would be to use this work and let him preach it as though it were his own.  Being a seminary student I  do not always have time to do additional reading on top of school work, this book however was a joy to read and think through. I must say that I focused most of my attention on the section of Scripture I am writing a sermon on for class (Philippians 1:12-18).  Throughout that section I must have highlighted what equates to two whole pages of information. One tidbit I highlighted was, “Paul was in house arrest in Rome. He was able to receive visitors in the house,  but the chains never left his wrist….And even though he had no source of income he still had to pay the rent on the house or else he would be put in some dungeon.”(pg 24).
            This is a work I would happily recommend to anyone wanting to go deeper into the book of Philippians. I do not always give such a broad recommendation, this book however deserves it, with its conversational tone and style it has more mass appeal than some other commentaries on the subject.

I was given a copy of this work for review in exchange for a fair and honest review, I did not have to write a favorable review in order to receive this work.