Examining Tradition: Preaching

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83 Responses

  1. Captain Kevin says:


  2. Captain Kevin says:

    I began my church experience in a Foursquare church where our Calvinist (can you believe it?) pastor preached through books of the Bible. From there to Calvary Chapel with, of course, more of the same (minus the Calvinist part 😉 ) I think it’s a good method.

    That being said, it is just that, a method. I have often thought that if I were “the preacher” in a church, I would mix through-the-Bible with topical about 60-40. Not too long ago, I even mentioned to my wife that I thought it would be fun, interesting, and uplifting to preach through a liturgical year. Guess I wouldn’t make a very good Calvary pastor.

  3. Lutheran says:

    Great to see everyone here. Thanks, Michael! Resurrections do occur.

    There’s a great tape by Dr. Carl Fickensher from an old “Issues, Etc. radio broadcast. He, teaches preaching and homiletics at Concordia-Ft. Wayne. It’s about expository preaching. He says Luther was really the one who started it. He then compares the Lutheran view with what he calls the “neo-expository” view.

    A couple of points he made:

    — Luther believed that the Word preached was sacramental. And one of his sayings was, “The church is a mouth house, not a pen house.”

    — Lutherans and other Reformed folks don’t preach verse by verse as much as they do by pericope, or a section of Scripture which typically contains one thought block or overarching theme.

    — The liturgical church year is a great boon to preaching. It gives a great deal of structure to what message to preach,

  4. Michael says:

    If the Lord tarries, I’m going to preach through a liturgical year next year.

    I would have choked to even think of such a thing in the past.

    Lutheran…I think Luther was right about the Word preached being sacramental…

  5. Daniel Fusco says:

    For me, it doesn’t matter what the methodology as long as the Scriptures are expounded faithfully.

  6. Tim says:

    Hmmm…there’s some self-examination that needs to take place here. Do I honestly believe that verse-by-verse Christ-centered teaching is the best? Yes. Am I prideful about it? I hope not. But it’s worth taking a look at.

    My recommendation for those looking for a church is to find a church committed to exalting Jesus Christ through the Scripture. Whether a Spurgeon or a Smith is in the pulpit is secondary. I love the radio teaching of Adrian Rodgers, but he’s a far cry from a verse-by-verse teacher…but I sure have learned a lot from his Bible teaching.

    I can say from my own personal experience, that verse-by-verse teaching was like a drink of cool water in a dry land for me when I first encountered it. I was in dire need of the pure milk of the word, which had been lacking at my previous church…and I was so grateful to receive it. But my experience isn’t everyone’s experience.


    Lutheran – I can appreciate your thoughts about preaching through a pericope. I’ve seen some verse-by-verse teaching that just hits enough verses to fill up 45 minutes, and that’s not the style I’d favor or recommend. It’s important to find the overarching theme when teaching (if for no other reason, in order to help the learning process).

  7. Kevin H says:

    I am not a pastor and probably never will be, so I speak only from a layman’s point of view. I have my own personal preferences that probably have been formed by my experiences and what I’m used to more than anything else. But in the end, I can appreciate any preaching that is Christ centered and where there is good exegesis and not eisegesis going on. As I have grown a little older and a little wiser, it has become more of a pet peeve of mine to hear a sermon where a preacher is stretching the text to meet the point he’s trying to make rather than staying true to the full and real meaning of the text.

  8. Xenia says:

    Michael, I believe you will find teaching through the Liturgical Year to be a great blessing.

  9. Em says:

    view from the pew: i am blessed by an organized mind “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” – no matter the style or method used – but then there’s that rare moment when the Holy Spirt brings beauty and power to some simple minded mish-mash … if the preacher is loving God with all his heart, mind and soul, it will show thru and bless us who are down on the floor …

  10. Lutheran says:

    Daniel Fusco,


  11. Lutheran says:


    In Luther’s day, preaching would last an hour or more (!), Those were the days, I guess…

    If I remember the tape right, Dr. Fikenscher recommends around 20 minutes to budding Lutheran pastors.

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    First, get a text… find the burden of the Lord get illumination from the Holy Spirit. Next, do your exegesis… what did the text mean to those who received it? Then, develop the major theme, avoid the temptation to chop up the text into some clever outline… living things are not dismembered… preach a narrative, a living story of his story. Finally, let the application make itself if possible. If you have to restate what you meant then you did not convey the message with any degree of effectiveness. The ‘Spirit and the Bride say….’

    or just do it your way.

    Rambling Dread

  13. paigemom says:

    My first 36 years as a believer were spent in verse by verse churches. I learned and memorized a lot of scripture that way. I think it helps those who are new to the Word to find their way, be able to go home and read what they just heard, know how to find verses, etc.

    I must say that I became completely weary of hearing constantly so much about Israel, and so little about Jesus Christ and how to live today for Him.

    For the last three years, I have been in a topical sermon series church led by a well educated and mature pastoral staff. I am seeing the Word in a different way, deeper, more detailed. I also see the larger picture of consistency throughout the Word more clearly.

    I rather feel like it is the same in ‘eating’ the Word as it is in the eating of foods. When I was younger, I could eat much more volume of food. Now at this age (ahem), a few morsels of nutrient dense quality foods suffice and satisfy and keep me healthy.

    I have also become rather fond of the liturgical year (we read the Book of Common Prayer’s schedule), and see the benefit of rehearsing the landmark events of God’s Work year after year.

  14. paigemom says:

    BTW, Dr David Jeremiah started a series on the Book of Job yesterday. Excellent. .

  15. Xenia says:

    One good thing about following a yearly lectionary is there’s a Gospel reading and an epistle reading. That way, you get just the right balance of Jesus and Paul. Over the years I’ve come to think that there are Paul-oriented churches and Jesus-oriented churches. You can tell a Paul-oriented church by how minutely the pastor goes through a book like Romans, sometimes taking years and basically saying the same thing every Sunday. It can be hard to find Jesus in this type of sermon.

  16. paigemom says:

    Wow Xenia, that is a very cool observation about “Paul oriented” or “Jesus oriented” churches. My experiences in 5 years at a particular CC church that was in the Old Testament the entire time I was there, was that it was an “Israel History oriented” church.

  17. deadmanwalking says:

    If a parent decided to home school their children and only spent 30 to 45 minutes a week with them they would get nothing done. it would be considered abuse by most people.

    The weak link in all of it is we live in a sound bite world. if you get 30 to 45 minutes a week to teach people, and the people do nothing more that be passive listeners then you verse by verse will accomplish little.

  18. Ray says:

    1st post from a long time lurker here on PP. Welcome back Michael. Just needed to comment that having considered myself a Christian for a long time and spending 20+ years apart of CC, My wife and I have grown closer to the Lord and learned more in the last two years listening to John Piper’s in-depth series on Romans (1998-2006) on mp3 than anything before. Just my 2 cents worth. I don’t and won’t post much, but prayers are with you all.

  19. Captain Kevin says:

    DMW, right on!! Wish I had time to converse with you about this some more. Getting ready to leave town for a week. Getting out of the Valley of the Sun and going to the White Mountains! From 110 degrees to 78 degrees…Glory to God!

    Blessings to you all.

  20. Believe says:

    Amen to this thread.

    We shouldn’t strain the gnat and swallow the camel. We all have “opinions” about what is the “best” way…the issue of expository preaching vs. topical is a non-issue to me…I have my preference, but it would never limit fellowship or give me cause to look down on another believer.

    I’d rather sit under a man of Character who teaches topically…than a corrupt jerk who teaches in an expository manner.

  21. centorian says:

    verse by verse does not always equal Israel-centric preaching. We in the business call that springboarding. Actually, I don’t think anyone teaches strictly verse by verse. I don’t. I break chapters up into topics, sometimes the whole chapter, some times only one verse. And being that the chapters and verses are not divided by inspiration, well… and being that I grew up on topical messages, I received some good instruction and yet my overall understanding of particular books was lacking. Topicals can also become the pastor’s hobby horse.

    Being that Paul was a disciple of Jesus, I don’t think the two “balance” each other much as Paul’s teachings are an expansion of Jesus. In some respects, the audiences were a little different, but I don’t want get into that. But then again, all that is needed for a healthy Christian life is the four gospels, and the right perspective on Israel, of course.

  22. Tim says:

    Welcome, Ray!

  23. Lutheran says:


    Does your lectionary also include something from the OT? Ours does. But it’s usually
    not the basis for the message.

  24. JimB says:

    My first 5 years in the church I was in the SBC churches, and even graduated from one of their Bible colleges during that time. The emphasis in those churches at that time was preaching the gospel during all services, it wasn’t upon training and equipping the church but rather reaching the lost.

    In Jan. 1978, I left the SBC and for the next 6 1/2 years attended a Bible teaching church, but the emphasis was topical. Its focus was on being an “inter-denominational” church. They wanted to appeal to Christians from all different backgrounds and therefore when the Bible was taught they tried their best to avoid teachings about any doctrines or issues upon which Christians tended to disagree. The teaching was non-committal on a lot of things and many subjects were not really taught at all in depth, including prophesy, the gifts and working the Holy Spirit, eternal security or not, etc. The main teacher was very gifted so I actually grew a whole lot in my spiritual walk during this time. I really learned what grace was in this church.

    Next, I spent 3 1/2 years in a Bible teaching church very similar to the previous, just in a different part of the country. It was sort of an offshoot of the previous church and its leaders also broke off of the Plymouth Brethren church. I definitely saw the hobby horse of doctrines that the pastor taught on very quickly, and eventually got to the place where when the pastor was 2 minutes into his message that I knew where he was going with it. I have never been so bored during preaching. I got to where my mind wandered everywhere but to the msg every Sunday because I tuned the pastor out because I knew where he was going with his messages.

    Next, I spent 6 1/2 years in a CC church whose pastor taught V by V through the Bible. In this church, even though the pastor was a blowhard and very long-winded, I learned more than I ever had before and I really began to look forward to Sundays because I knew we were covering something that was new. Also, the pastor was unafraid to encroach upon any topic because he felt that if it was in the word of God he needed to teach it. I was challenged also because he called sin what it was and he wasn’t afraid to tell us what we needed to hear, not what we wanted to hear.

    I have now pastored since 94′ and I have enjoyed teaching verse by verse, but like Centy said, I always try to teach topically within the verse by verse study. Many times I cut msgs short because I don’t want to cut short or ruin a topic by chasing down the next thing in the text.

    My preferences…

  25. Michael says:

    My hope is doing these examinations of our traditions is that we loosen our grip on non essentials and feel more freedom in relating to the greater Body of Christ.

    I teach pericopes within chapters one book at a time…I think my church may be blessed by a change for a year…me too.

  26. JimB says:

    I wrote: >>Many times I cut msgs short because I don’t want to cut short or ruin a topic by chasing down the next thing in the text

    What I meant to say is that many times I cut down the number of verses to be covered in a msg because I don’t want to cut short or ruin a topic by chasing down the next thing in the text.

    Also, I rejoice when the Bible is carefully and accurately taught regardless of whether it is taught in a verse by verse manner. I have read most of Spurgeon’s sermons, and to me he is king of topical of preachers, and when I have a topic I am researching I often search for sermons in which he taught on the topic or quotes about the topic within his messages. So, even if I don’t teach topically, I glean greatly from topical teaching…

    I am curious about this though. How does one go about teaching through a liturgical? What do you do in that case?

  27. Xenia says:

    Lutheran, no, the OT is not included in the lectionary except during Lent and Christmas, mostly prophetic passages from Isaiah. We sing a lot of Psalms, though.

  28. Em says:

    i don’t know, but i am wondering if those who went before us with those old hymn books full of sound doctrine might have left the service with more of what the hymn they’d just sung or heard taught them than what the preacher preached at/to them (not an emotional high from the music, but the Truth it lifted) dunno

  29. Another Voice says:

    Michael, I know Packer is off limits, but can I call out Spurgeon? 😉

    Seriously, I’ve read Lectures to Students more than once and have read many, many Spurgeon sermons. He was an intelligent, gifted, skilled orator of the Word.

    I know his quote sounds quite spiritual but at some point you still have the Holy Spirit on a deadline – that is if you are going to actually exegete the passage and prepare a message….as opposed to just winging it.

    I’m going to wait on the Holy Spirit to give me my text, but I’m going to have to go with something by Thursday AM at the latest, even if I don’t feel anything special about it…..doesn’t sound quite as spiritual, does it.

    ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired, profitable etc. There is nothing unspiritual about asking the Holy Spirit to guide the study and prep of a message from ANY portion of Scripture. He gave it to us all in the first place.

    I find that on my best days I can’t always be sure I am hearing from the Spirit. So how do I know the Spirit wants me to talk about giving, or is it me because the bank balance is really low the past few months? How can I talk about some besetting sin that week when I just counseled someone in bondage to that sin, without him thinking I am calling him out from the pulpit?

    When these topics come naturally in the teaching through a book of the Bible, nobody can get the wrong impression – and I need not fear that I am using the pulpit for my own private purposes. It’s a win-win in my personal opinion.

    Likewise, I don’t avoid the controversial passages, nor do I choose specifically the controversial passaes to grind my own doctrinal axe. I deal with them, in context with the whole chapter, book and Testament they are found, and only do so in proportion to which the Bible gives them. This is true for all doctrines. Hellfire and judgement is not each week, because hellfire and judgement is not in each chapter.

    I would also add that many Calvary do not teach expository messages. They just go through consecutive verses in the same book, teaching one or two a week, using them for jumping off points to whatever topical issues they desire. I would much rather sit under Lutheran’s pericope-teaching pastor any day than one of these guys, even if the pericopes come from different books of the Bible each week.

    I also recognize that while I clearly think this teaching is “best” I certainly do not think it is the only way to edify the saints with the Word of God. Hopefully, we ALL think that the way we teach the Bible is the “best” way, or else, wouldn’t we teach it differently?

  30. centorian says:

    not to be contentious, however:
    “I find that on my best days I can’t always be sure I am hearing from the Spirit. So how do I know the Spirit wants me to talk about giving, or is it me because the bank balance is really low the past few months? How can I talk about some besetting sin that week when I just counseled someone in bondage to that sin, without him thinking I am calling him out from the pulpit?”

    And sometimes the situations we experience are a way of God speaking to us as well. There are times that we have to address certain situations. Sometimes, it’s in the privacy of our office, sometimes it’s proclaimed from the pulpit. Kinda like blogging……….

  31. Another Voice says:

    Centy…can you give me an example of what you have in mind, maybe from personal experience?

  32. centorian says:

    Bigger question… when and how are we waiting for God to speak? For that matter, how does God speak to us? Does God not want us to address situation as they happen? If we have an area that needs good biblical instruction, should we deal with it privately or deal with it publically in teaching the scriptures. The “we’re not there yet in the Scriptures” approach can be a bit simplistic and naive. We are the shepherds of the flocks.

    I was teaching strictly through the Old Testament and I sensed the people needed to hear some New Testament. So I jumped to one of the gospels. It took some time, and when we finished, I felt that the church needed some ecclesiological instruction and jumped to what is probably the most corrective of all of Paul’s letters. I had some very divisive people, and they all cleared out half way through the book. I wish they would have stayed, but they responded to the teaching of the word. and I wasn’t very aware of their dvisiveness until after they left.

  33. Another Voice says:


    I don’t teach Genesis-Revelation. I prayerfully consider where we need to go next and rarely decide which book we will do next until about a week or two before we start it. Sounds quite similar to what you are saying above.

    I thought you meant on any given Sunday..which is why I asked for clarification.

    I find there is more than enough freedom in the illustrations and application of the Word each week, while still teaching the actual text..for example, I often find something in the news that week that highlights a point being made in the text (and note to all – I’m not talking about newspaper prophecy here)..

  34. JimB says:

    When you teach verse by verse through the scriptures, you can emphasize or bring out all kinds of things, as well as ignore a lot of things. I look back at my notes when I taught through each of the gospels and even though the same stories and teachings are often found repeated in other gospels, I invariably managed to bring out something unique each time with each gospel.

    The Holy Spirit leads my thoughts when I read a commentary about the passage I am going to be teaching, or when I have my quiet time in the morning, read something on a blog, or when I am just in prayer. Often those thoughts end up finding a way into my Bible teaching that week, or some other week. I try to save my thoughts on my computer during those God moments when He speaks to me.

    A week ago last Sunday, I was browsing a friend’s website after church, and I noticed a link to some audio .mp3 messages. The only strictly teaching message listed there happened to be about the very topic I would teach about that next Sunday! Coincidence? Hardly. I listened to that msg and lo and behold it happened to be one of the best msgs I have listened to in many years. There were so many unique things I gleaned from that msg and then incorporated into that next Sunday’s msg. God leads us in all kinds of ways when we are teaching God’s people His word.

  35. Michael says:

    Spurgeon isn’t the best example to use…he had an intellect and memory that enabled him to preach in a manner that most mortals cannot replicate.

    My point was that I personally had become attached to a particular tradition and elevated to a place it didn’t belong.

  36. JimB says:

    Spurgeon in his school would also force his students to learn to speak extemporaneously by giving them a text to preach on as they walked up to the pulpit to preach for that service. To be able to do that the men had to be real students of the word.

  37. JimB says:

    No one has attempted to answer my question at the bottom paragraph of #26…

  38. centorian says:

    yes, it sounds like we do the same thing…..

    re #34 that is correct. depending on how much ground you cover in a given passage, there are all kind of things to expound or omit. What I try to do (and I’m not saying you don’t) is to identify the main point of the text and teach from that platform.

  39. Believe says:

    IMO, it’s a heart issue.

    If you are truly submitted to the Lord and seeking Him as a pastor/teacher…and ask God to empower you with the Holy Spirit…and are communing with God in continual prayer…and obeying him (no unconfessed, unrepented sin in the way) and you truly have a focus for wanting to hear from God and do whatever He wills vs. manufacturing a sermon based on your own agenda…it will all work itself out.

    Topical, expository…a combination…really not important compared to your Character, your personal relationship with the Lord and you humbling yourself before God and begging Him to give you what He wants the people you’ve been given stewardship of to hear.

    If your heart is truly wanting to be a vessel, rather than crafting an agenda or giving a performance…the Spirit will lead.

    I would actually love some Sunday morning for my local pastor…who is always well-prepared and very much filled with the Spirit…to get up and say, “you know what, this week I am relying on the Holy Spirit to move in our service today with a different format than we’re used to…do any of you have any questions that are on your heart this morning?”

    Then as people ask questions related to their lives, their walk, etc…the pastor would answer yielding to the Spirit and responding from his knowledge of Scripture (unprepared mind you) giving answers from his heart with the direction of the Holy Spirit.

    That, IMO, would be a powerful service. Not necessarily a model for regular services…but an interesting change of pace…at least to me.

  40. Michael says:

    “If you are truly submitted to the Lord and seeking Him as a pastor/teacher…and ask God to empower you with the Holy Spirit…and are communing with God in continual prayer…and obeying him (no unconfessed, unrepented sin in the way) and you truly have a focus for wanting to hear from God and do whatever He wills vs. manufacturing a sermon based on your own agenda…it will all work itself out.”

    If you ever find a guy that meets all those qualifications we need to have him stuffed and put on display…cause he’s the only one that ever existed.

  41. ( | o )====::: says:


    First, glad to hear your beloved is doing better!

    Re: your #26 question
    “I am curious about this though. How does one go about teaching through a liturgical? What do you do in that case?”

    The liturgical calendar (from my RCC roots) is a huge help for the church in that there is a roadmap, a set of verses from the OT, Psalms/Proverbs, verses from the Epistles and a reading from a Gospel. It keeps the church focused on the revered stories of our faith and helps the congregation avoid being hijacked by the agenda of a pastor, elders or board. Hmmmm, why is this so suddenly appealing? 😉

    How you would approach the weekly message is to review it all and if the whole of the scriptures strikes you then you build upon that. If there are particular passages which really speak to you then you go from those, but the key is to stay faithful to the calendar, which the church believes is part of the guidance from the Holy Spirit for that church.

    …and now you can see why I’m a musician & graphic designer 😉
    ( | o )====:::

  42. ( | o )====::: says:

    I was gonna tell Believe that but I’m glad you did instead! 🙂

  43. JimB says:


    Thanks for the response and the prayers for Jill! This must have been what the priests in the Episcopal church I grew up in used for their weekly homilies. The msgs tied in to the prayer book also.

  44. Believe says:

    Call me an idealist… 🙂

    But, aren’t we “supposed” to aim high? Scripture says we are to be like Christ, does it not?

    Jesus, our Christ, is all of those things I referenced…isn’t He the goal? Am I missing something?

  45. Believe says:

    …don’t be so defeatist and don’t settle for realism…aim high.

    In target shooting you hit what you aim at…if you settle for low…you’re going to hit it.

    Pastors, aim high.

  46. Michael says:

    “Scripture says we are to be like Christ, does it not?”

    It does not…it’s says we’re being conformed to His image…and that’s a process and the process isn’t complete until you’re not here anymore.

    I’ve gone to preach feeling holy and prepared and prayed up…and bombed .

    I’ve also gone from cursing someone out in my car following family disputes, opened the Bible with blood in my eyes and had the Spirit fall so hard you couldn’t handle it.

    I always aim high…and fall short till I remember it ain’t about me.

  47. Believe says:

    “I always aim high…and fall short till I remember it ain’t about me.”


    That sums up succinctly the essence of what I was trying to communicate.

  48. deadmanwalking says:

    Mat 28:18* And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19* Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20* Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Teaching — to disciple them. It takes time motivation and discipline of both the teacher and the ones being taught. These things are missing in the church today.

    How do we
    1) motivate people
    2) how do people find the time
    3) in an undisciplined age we live in this may be the hardest thing to develop.

    Good preaching is a pointless thing unless it produces good disciples. It seems in these days most people just go to church to get a quick snack that they hope to get one thought that will carry them through the week. Serious disciples are hard to find.

  49. jlo says:

    “Serious disciples are hard to find.”

    so true.

  50. Believe says:

    Dread said, “or just do it your way.”

    McChurch. 8)

  51. Another Voice says:

    What do you think..

    I see a parallel in the discussion of how to teach/preach the Bible and how to govern the local church. In both cases:

    1) There is no CLEAR teaching in the Bible as to the right way (i.e. the way most pleasing to God)

    2) There are both good and bad examples to be found within each option.

    3) Every pastor should be convinced in his own heart that his is the best way – while remaining humble towards those who see things differently. To repeat an earlier point, if I did not think my method of teaching was the best, then I would be obligated to change to what I felt convicted was the best.

    4) Every Christian likewise should be convinved as to what is the best way, and choose the church where they fellowship accordingly – again while being humble towards those who see things differently.

  52. Another Voice says:

    I would add that #4 is where is found the rub..

    Because what happens when the church government you favor is not coupled with the method of Bible teaching/preaching taking place there that you also favor.

  53. Michael says:


    I concur.

  54. Michael says:

    My only objections would be these;

    One, that you don’t try to defend your church polity with a piece of bad theology like the oft reviled “Moses Model”.

    Call it what it is and be clear that it’s the option that body chooses to follow.

    I frankly think that pastor centric churches are prone to more difficulties, but that’s my opinion.

    There can be a case made, and a good one, that the Bible teaches elder led churches.

    Two; That the congregation has recourse for grievances and there is transparency in financial matters, etc.

  55. Another Voice says:

    Michael, how we define “elder led churches” makes a difference. A pastor (shepherd), a bishop (overseer) and an elder are all used interchangeably at times in Scripture. You and I are known by all 3 titles.

    So techinically, a “pastor centric” church is still elder led.

    Likewise, if a church has a Board of elders, and assuming the Pastor only has one vote along with everyone else, that too would certainly fit a definition of elder-run.

    Now, if the idea is a handful of guys that take turns preaching the Sunday sermon, then I think we are going down a path that does not have a lot of historical or Biblical support.

  56. Michael says:


    You make me write more thoughtfully and with greater precision…I like that. 🙂

    The term I should have used is a plurality of elders.

    Now, if we are to be honest, usually one leader will emerge from that plurality and it’s almost always the teaching elder.

    MacArthurs church is governed by a plurality of elders…but I have no doubt who’s in charge.

    Having had this discussion for years now, I have arrived at a very unpopular position, that being that no one can be a pastor if there is no flock…and people need to vote with their feet.

    The sad reality is people go where there are other people, the site is comfy, and the show is good…even if the pastor is an SOB.

  57. Another Voice says:

    1 Peter 5:1-3

    (with recognition this is a general epistle as seen by the audience addressed by 1 Peter 1:1 )

  58. Michael says:


    I think there was more to that post than your reference… 🙂

  59. Michael says:


    I’m posting this for you as your defaulted to another verse.

    Ҧ So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
    shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
    not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”
    (1 Peter 5:1–3 ESV)

  60. Another Voice says:

    My Peter quote was in support of my earlier comment #55, and was not a reply to your #56 which snuck in there before me. – showing how the three words are used interchangeably for the same person.

    Elder is a tricky word in Scripture, since it so often just means an elderly person.

    I agree with you about the teaching elder being the leader most often – and that is one of my pet peeves about those who bemoan how much power the CC pastor has and ignore how it is in reality in many other churches.

  61. Michael says:


    The problem is that that CC has no avenue for any recourse so the problem is amplified.

    The SBC has the same issues and the same blogs…

    There is no perfect system, but I’ll go for one with more checks and balances.

    On the other hand…every pastor I’ve “exposed” is doing quite well, thank you, because people don’t vote with their wallets first, followed by their feet.

  62. Another Voice says:

    The problem is that that CC has no avenue for any recourse so the problem is amplified
    I fully agree Michael – unless of course the individual CC has established one, as ours and a few others have done.

    I don’t know the avenue for recourse that might exist at MacArthur’s church, or at David Jeremiah’s church – but whatever it is, any CC could set up something similar.

    CCOF should demand seeing something before affiliation if anyone was serious about this glaring problem.

    But it isn’t about simply a powerful pastor IMHO.

  63. Michael says:


    There are no simple answers to this…outside of each of us trying to follow Christ to the best of our ability.

    Best of luck getting that by CCOF. 🙂

  64. Believe says:

    “CCOF should demand seeing something before affiliation if anyone was serious about this glaring problem.”

    Binding Arbitration and asset rider in the CCOF “agreement” so you don’t get a Kempner situation where the lay-people who built the church and bought the dirt with their hard-earned money get hosed…and also for instances like Bob.

    A Binding Arbitration clause doesn’t necessarily put CCCM’s assets at risk. They should still be able to create distance…legally…while requiring a Dovee to pre-submit to this form of accountability measure that is triggered automatically by formal request from a lay-person or employee or associate pastor.

    Loser pays the costs would keep frivolous claims in check.

    We discussed something like this during the Kempner debacle.

  65. Believe says:

    …CCOF could make it a requirement as part of the individual CC’s by-laws in order to fly a Dove.

  66. Believe says:

    …that and a NO CALVINISM OR EMERGENT clause. 😆 8)

  67. Michael says:

    I’ve said it here for years and I’ve said it elsewhere.

    Give the people a legitimate place of recourse and the blogs dry up and everyone gets to be about better things.

    When you give folks no recourse they will make one and thats just a fact.

    I was going to do this thread on church governance in “traditions” next week…AV just made extra work for me. 😉

  68. Fred says:

    AV and any other pastor(s) posting here.

    Two questions:

    1. Are you a full time, meaning your primary financial income comes from the tithes and offerings of your church, pastor?

    If so please answer thoughtfully #2:

    2. If you would never again receive one dime for preaching and teaching (the two are different) the word of God would you still do it with the same fervor and effort?

    Please don’t go into yours or any others right to receive a salary for preaching and teaching. We know a laborer is worthy of his wages.

    Thank you for your responses!

  69. Michael says:


    I don’t understand the question.

    It sounds like you’re asking people if they would starve their families and live in the bushes to preach.

    To which I would say…I sure hope not.

  70. centorian says:

    1. no.

    does that mean I don’t have to answer #2? 8)

  71. Another Voice says:

    Money is a temptation that comes with success, along with women and pride. When you are a nobody leading a 4 person Bible study (and 2 of those 4 people are you and your wife) then that temptation is not very strong.

    I can speak of the CC tradition in detail and tell you that most all the pastors worked for years to support themselves and family while teaching the Word of God. Many have continued to do so – They don’t get into this for the dollars. If a couple of them have let the success and money that has come their way be a stumbling block, it is to their shame – and another reminder why Jesus had to die for us.

    As to the questions – I answer NO to #1. So I guess I don’t answer #2.

    I will add this though, don’t equate being a full-time pastor with a full compensation package from the church. To in effect call all the men who labor in the ministry “part-time shepherds” just because they put in some hours on the side to feed the family, is frankly a little insulting to such men.

    I can refer you to the Apostle Paul if you would like an example…

  72. Michael says:


    Well said…

  73. Another Voice says:

    Michael, I know a brother in the Lord who was called a “part-time shepherd” by someone when his church was small and he was working on the side. It really guilted him.

    Eventually the church grew, and he went on full support, and was almost immediately greeted by someone accusing him of “fleecing the flock” Fortunately, by that time he had grown some and didn’t let it get him down like the earlier comment had.

  74. Michael says:

    I’ve always worked to support myself…and I’m a pastor everywhere I go…just in disguise. 😉

  75. Fred says:

    Thanks guys may all who think they are called have the same mind

  76. papias says:

    I have been listening to Tim Keller’s series “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World, and its been great! They also have a Q&A time after each lecture and that has been good as well.

    I got mine through RTS online.

  77. papias says:

    OK, so catching up on reading this thread shows me that my previous comment might have been better if I had gievn it earlier – like last night! 🙂

    But, I am learning alot from Keller and Clowney….

  78. SHW says:

    I see the Bible like a finished giant “puzzle” that is perfectly put together by the mind of God. Each individual passage and/or verse about faith and doctrine is true and therefore each one must fit seamlessly with all the other passages/verses in order to be understood correctly.

    So, for example, when one passage/verse states:

    “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (10:13 of Romans),

    but another states:

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (7:21 of Matthew),

    both of these are true statements even though they seem to contradict each other.

    So, since both are true, then under what circumstance/condition is the first statement true, but not the second one?

    The first statement is true when we first come to the Lord. He saves/justifies us as His free gift of grace to us when we first believe in Him Mark 16:16 He commands us to be baptized (6:11 of 1 Corinthians).

    Under what circumstance/condition is the second statement true, but not the first one?

    The second statement is true when we must prove our faith by our works on Judgment Day because on Judgment Day we are not judged by our faith; instead we are all judged according to our works. The works, whether good or evil, that we do on earth are the true measure of our spiritual state. Matthew 25: 31-46, (2:5-9 of Romans) If we have not been faithful to God’s commands during our sojourn on earth, we will not be approved to inherit eternal life on Judgment Day. (6:9-10 of 1 Corinthians), (5:19-21 of Galatians), (5:5-6 of Ephesians), (3:5-7 of Colossians)

    This is why James states: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” (2:24 of James), (5:6 of Galatians)

    And also: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (1:12 of James) (7:9 of Deuteronomy), (14:21 of John), (2:4 of 1 John)

    Jesus is the source of salvation on Judgment Day for only the persons who obeyed His commandments and it is only these whom He will approve to inherit eternal life. He does not save the persons who disobeyed Him and so they will not be allowed to enter into eternal life. (5:9 of Hebrews) (19:16-19 of Matthew), (1:7-9 of 2 Thessalonians) (22:14 of Revelation) (3:15-16 of Revelation) (2:18-20 of James) (15:6 of John) (33:12-13 of Ezekiel)

    Faith plus works (faith working through love) are both necessary in order for us to be approved to enter into eternal life after we die.

  79. SHW says:

    Matthew 7:19-21 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”

  80. Lutheran says:

    How does one go about teaching through a liturgical? What do you do in that case?”’


    I haven’t have a clue as to what you mean. If you can explain what you’re asking more clearly, I and maybe other ‘liturgicals’ might take a stab at it.

  81. Lutheran says:

    Here’s a good summary article, assuming this is what you’re asking:

    “Preaching by Lectionary”


  82. Captain Kevin says:

    Luth, prettysure Jim means liturgucal year.

  83. Lutheran says:

    Well, the liturgical year gives the structure. It’s a reenactment of the divine drama, you might say, with different seasons. So during Advent you won’t hear a message about Pentecost. During Lent, you will not hear messages about Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the deadl. Etcetera. You will chant all the Creeds at some point — I’ve led the Divine Service twice when we’ve chanted the Athanasian Creed, which makes for a long service! 🙂

    Note that this thread’s title is “preaching.” Not teaching. In our church, teaching is reserved for adult Bible classes, Bible studies, etc. You will learn things about the Bible from the message in the Divine Service, but that is not its primary function. It’s proclamation.

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