Al Mohler on “Why Expositional Preaching is a Bad Idea”

Do you know how your understanding of preaching  has been shaped  in recent centuries by the Pietists, the Revivalists, the Liberals, the Pragmatists and the Consumerists?  If you don’t, you need to because these influences are shaping the crisis of preaching in the church  today. That’s why this message by Al Mohler deserves a wide, wide hearing.   It is 21st Christian preaching and its origins 101.

The frightening reality today is that preaching has metamorphosized into many different forms, and we are therefore required to differentiate these unbiblical forms from true biblical preaching, and to do that we label biblical preaching as “expository” preaching.  And sadly, expository preaching is far from the norm in the church today, and it’s no wonder given the contented widespread biblical ignorance we see in the Christian church.

Mohler is a champion for expository preaching, and in this message he carefully and wisely considers the  many arguments given by opponents of expository preaching, and examines how each of these historically developed from bad, and even shocking theology.  Hence his provocative title.  This should be required listening for your leaders and discipleship groups, if not your whole church.

By the way, if you haven’t listened to any of the messages at the 9 Marks at SBTS conference you are missing a real treat.

Why Expositional Preaching is a Bad Idea —

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Introducing Friedrich Schleiermacher

Michael Reeves has been doing a tremendous job of providing very interesting and helpful talks on various aspects of church history, and highlighting key figures.

So who is Schleiermacher and why should we care?  He is the father of modern liberalism.  And Reeves 3 session talk should interest you because, even though you may not think you are a theological liberal, chances are you are going to see how this man you’ve never heard of has probably influenced parts of your theology, and definitely much of what we in our conservative churches.

Introducing Friedrich Schleiermacher >>>

Christless Christianity

Michael Horton raises an alarm about the condition of our churches and the youth who are following us, as he discusses his book Christless Christianity on Christ the Center.  Horton clearly explains the gospel understanding and basic theological position of the average evangelical American who attends church.  Quite frankly it’s frightening.

Christless Christianity >>>

Paul Washer’s Shocking Sermon

Here’s the sermon that often doesn’t get Paul Washer invited back.  And no, it’s not because he’s boring.  Washer preaches with clarity and passion.  The reason Washer has caused such an uproar in some places is because he makes a frontal attack on some of Evangelicalism’s most sacred cows:  Assurance of Salvation, and sincerity in “making a decision” for Christ.

Washer pulls no punches.  Nor does he just attack for the sake of attack.  He attacks these forms of Evangelical religion like a surgeon attacking a cancer. He dissects and explains.

Washer rails against how Evangelicals are so quick to proclaim people ‘believers’.  One of the most damnable practices in the church is when a person doubts their salvation, they are usually taken back to that day when they “made a decision” for Christ and “asked Jesus into their hearts”, neither of which are statements found in Scripture (apart from a poor hermeneutic).  We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life.  Washer claims this tactic sends countless people to hell.  At the very point that a person may be coming to Christ with a legitimate doubt about salvation, we kill off that work with a sloppy proclaimation of false salvation.

Washer broadsides contemporary evangelistic practices, including child evangelism and Sunday School programs. He says he would not put his children in 80% of the Sunday school programs, because the gospel presentations we give to children are so seriously distorted they border on heresy.

This message needs to be preached to every church in America.  The congregations response would serve as a good litmus test of spiritual health.

Paul Washer’s Shocking Sermon >>>

Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church

What can I say about Paul Washer?  Lest I tread too closely to making too much of a man, I can’t help but be excited by a preacher who speaks for God, whose words convict and inspire awe before God and his work of the Gospel.   Here is a man who has a prophetic voice in the manner of a Tozer or Lloyd-Jones.  And in this message, Washer clearly and effectively levels ten indictments against the modern church that we must take heed of.  Here are just a few of Paul’s major points, though not necessarily his exact 10 indictments:

The modern church practically denies Scripture by embracing the sociological, the psychological and the anthropological as having authority over God’s Word.  The modern church does not know God.  The modern church has exchanged the Gospel and the power of God for tricks, techniques, and pagan-like methodologies.The modern church has robbed people of the power of the Gospel by embracing the heresy of decisionism.   The modern church is focused on prosperity and not on sin, thus defusing the one thing necessary for the Holy Spirit to deal with to restore a sinners true relationship with God.  The modern church is filled with and caters to the goats while the sheep starve under the hand of capitulating leaders.  The modern church has remained silent on the reality that God`s people are called out to be separate.  The modern church has torn Matthew 18 from Scripture, and along with it loving, compassionate church discipline.

Paul asks the loaded question of leaders, “Are you smarter than God?  Then stop acting like it!”  There is a sharp bite to Washer’s indictment, yet the cutting comes from spiritual wisdom, and one who loves Christ’s bride, the Church.

Washer spent 10 years ministering in Peru, where he started a missions organization called HeartCry Missionary Society, and has since returned to the US to oversee this organization.  He makes Grace Life Church of the Shoals his church home.

Many thanks to Chad of Christ Fellowship in Hannibal, Missouri for connecting me with Paul Washer.  You will be hearing much more about this man as my iPod is filled with Paul Washer mp3’s.

Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church >>>

Daryl Hart and Deconstructing Evangelicalism

Conservative Protestantism in the Age of Billy GrahamShould Evangelicals abandon the label ‘Evangelical’?  Does it carry any real meaning anymore?  How did the ‘Evangelical’ movement begin, and why? Who were the key players who fueled this movement? How did Evangelicalism become so fragmented into the condition that we see today? These are just some of the questions that Daryl and the lads at CTC ask as they discuss Hart’s book Deconstructing Evangelicalism.  This is a fascinating interview.

Daryl Hart is also the author of the biography of J. Greshem Machen, Defending the Faith.

Deconstructing Evangelicalism >>>

Jesus: Made in America

Author Steve Nichols discusses some of the themes and observations found in his book Jesus: Made in America.

Nichols and the team at Christ the Center discuss the distinctions between the common cultural perception of Jesus as opposed to the Biblical Jesus. Our impressions of Jesus are largely based on a Victorian misrepresentation that our society has built a false image on.

One chapter he has titled ‘Jesus and Vinyl’ where he demonstrates that Christian’s draw most of their understanding of Jesus from phrases and choruses from Christian music that taken together provides a very distorted picture of who Christ is, and in reality is theology in a vacuum.

The bottom line of Nichols argument is that our society has made Jesus in our image which is far from the Biblical context.

This is a very enjoyable discussion about a subject that impacts every Christian today.

Made in the USA at Christ the Center >>>

Heresies in the Church, Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Fremont, California, taught his congregation once a month on a specific doctrinal heresy from church history.  This kind of teaching is valuable in that it helps to sharpen our minds in exercising doctrinal discernment.  We gain great benefits by looking back on how the church handled the heresy.

 Some of the heresies he’s been looking at include Gnosticism, Judaism, Arianism, Pelagianism, the Iconoclast controversy, Transubstantiation, Liberalism, Neo-Orthodoxy, and Open Theism.

Heresies in the Church>>>

Reformation and Modern Church History with Dr. David Calhoun

Church historian David Calhoun’s lectures on church history have been made available online by Covenant Theological Seminary.  These excellent lectures should not be missed.  The old saying, ‘Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it’ holds a particular truth for Christians.  We must know church history.  Calhoun does a great job of making church history accessible and interesting.

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Dr. David Calhoun’s Reformation and Modern Church History lectures>>>