Letters to the Editor #13 (Parenting, Bad Preaching, Evening Services)

With another Sunday, we have another batch of letters to the editor. These letters focus in on just a few of the articles I have posted over the past 2 weeks. Comments on An Unexpected Blessing of Parenting After reading the post, I get it that the picture is probably supposed to show a father and son as friends. But, in looking at the FB post of my friend, what I saw was a “couple” made of up two men. …

The Man on the Moon

I have a particular interest in technology and the way human society has been shaped by it. Over the past few years, I have pursued this interest by reading several books and watching several documentary series on the race to the moon. Having been born in 1976, I was too young to witness anything more than the aftermath of this epic race between the United States and the Soviet Union, and maybe this is why it fascinates me so much. …

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Protect Your Church in One Simple Step

A few days ago I tried to demonstrate how a church self-destructs. There is a sad progression that begins with the people growing weary and ashamed of truth. No longer able or willing to endure sound teaching, they get rid of the truth-tellers and accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Inevitably, they soon turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. All of this is laid out in chapter four of 2 Timothy. In …

If Preaching Was Like Playing

I went to the Blue Jay game last week. The Rays were in town and I like to go and cheer/jeer for my buddy Ben who plays for the bad guys. “You stink! And thanks for the tickets!” Don’t mention it to him, but at the end of the game he represented the winning run…and struck out. That was kind of fun (for me, at least). Anyway, while I was watching the game I began to think about some of …

To Be Looked Through, Not Looked At

I wrote last week of Alister McGrath’s new biography of C.S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet). Fifty years after his death, Lewis remains a fascinating, prophetic figure and a much-loved author. His insights into the Bible were often very interesting but it is his insights into human nature that I find even more helpful. At one point McGrath writes about Lewis’ understanding of poetry and here I found truth that is applicable all over …

More Lessons Learned Along the Way

A few months ago I shared a few lessons I’ve learned along the way–a few things I’ve learned about preaching since I rather unexpectedly found myself regularly standing in the pulpit. I learned that preaching can be discouraging, that preachers are fragile, that success in preaching is difficult to measure, and that preaching is a joy. Upon further reflection, I want to add a couple of items to my list. Don’t Romanticize It Another lesson I’ve learned is that the …

What I’ve Learned Along the Way

This is an article about preaching that is meant to be read by non-preachers. I am an unlikely preacher, a guy who was paralyzingly shy through high school and college and into later life who rather suddenly found himself speaking at conferences and preaching at churches. As someone who is rather new to the pulpit, I thought it might be helpful to tell you what some of the surprises have been as I’ve somehow transitioned to a person who preaches on …

A Word to Those Who Preach the Word

It has been a couple of months since I’ve had the privilege of preaching, and I am looking forward to stepping into the pulpit again a couple of weeks from now. It is always a joy and always a weighty responsibility. In reading Kent Hughes’ commentary on Isaiah I was challenged by his “Word to Those Who Preach the Word”–his preface to the Preach the Word commentary series for which he serves as general editor. It’s a powerful meditation on …

The State of Preaching

I don’t often read The Southern Seminary Magazine but recently I came across some notes I had taken on an article from all the way back in 2006. In the “President’s Journal,” Al Mohler wrote a brief commentary on “The State of Preaching Today.” He wrote “On the one hand, there are signs of great promise and encouragement. On the other hand, several ominous trends point toward dangerous directions for preaching in the future. The last few decades have been …

The Freedom and the Burden

I think I knew more about preaching before I began to preach. At least I was more sure of the things I was sure of. Now that I preach on a regular basis I have a better assessment of how little I really know about the art or science or whatever it is of preaching God’s Word. There is a mystery to preaching that makes it so very different from anything else I have attempted, succeeded at or failed at—and …