Text-Driven Blog

The Preacher Who Forgives: The Preacher as a Model for Forgiveness

Some Christian clichés are passed around in our circle of churches because they sound nice. They may not always be theologically air-tight. Take this one, for instance: When God closes a door, He opens a window. Climbing through windows is becoming of a burgl... Read More »

The Preacher Who Reads: Why the Preacher Who Reads is the Preacher Who Leads

Karl Barth, the famed and influential German theologian, was quoted as saying, “One must do theology with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” I suggest that just as Barth stated that theology has a dual quality of biblical and world educat... Read More »

The Homiletical Challenge: How to Turn True Statements into Truth Nuggets

As text-driven preachers, we long to “rightly divide” the Word from the pulpit. We go deep into the structure of the text, analyzing the syntax and semantics, longing for the truth of God’s inspired Word to awake our souls as we aim to awake ... Read More »

The Predictability Challenge: Crafting Sermons with Variety

I’m not a very creative person. As a matter of fact, more often than I wish to admit, I’m confronted by the fact that I’m a pretty predictable guy. That’s not to say I don’t have creative moments but that those moments tend to come slowly over time. ... Read More »

The Busyness Challenge: The Need to Protect Time for Adequate Sermon Preparation

In 1967 Charles E. Hummel wrote a little book, which he titled Tyranny of the Urgent. In it Hummel argued that we often live in this tension between the things that are “urgent” and the things that are truly important, with the urgent usually winning out. ... Read More »

The Autonomy Challenge: Cultivating a Spirit of Humility in an Age of Independence

To assume that our autonomy often fosters a spirit of independence is not much of a stretch, but to acknowledge that it infiltrates the preaching event probably escapes most of us. It certainly has for me often. I suggest that in the preaching event we battle ... Read More »

The Apathy Challenge: How to Keep the Sermon Interesting When People Become Disinterested

Let’s face it. We have all seen their faces. Bill looks likely to snore at any moment. Cindy seems to be staring off into outer space. John’s iPhone has him on lock. The youth giggle flirtatiously. Even worse, you watched at least a dozen folks who attende... Read More »

The Evangelism Challenge: How to Create a Culture of Evangelism in the Pulpit

The Apostle Paul depicts the clear description of the gospel in his statement, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the... Read More »

The Expectation Challenge: The Necessity to Balance Pastoral and Preaching Duties

Within the course of a normal day I wear several hats: resident theologian, primary preacher, chief administrator, counselor, hospital chaplain, bereavement specialist, and most importantly husband and father. These responsibilities alone are more than the res... Read More »

The Prestige Challenge: The Danger of “Keeping Up with the Jones'” as a Preacher

Prestige is defined as “reputation or influence arising from success, achievement, rank, or other favorable attributes.”[1]”Prestige” from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/prestige?s=t. Can the desire for prestige become a danger for th... Read More »

The Passion Challenge: Why Preachers Need Both Light and Heat in the Pulpit

It’s Sunday night. It’s late. You’re exhausted. But you just can’t seem to turn off your mind. You had an unexpected funeral on Tuesday (when are they ever expected?), a wedding on Saturday, and you preached the best sermon you knew how—but no one se... Read More »

The Media Challenge: Proclaiming Ancient Truth Amidst Sensory Bombardment

In 1953 Ray Bradbury published the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.  In it protagonist Guy Montag observes his wife using “Seashells,” described as follows: And in her ears the little Seashells, the timble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of so... Read More »

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