Saturday, March 01, 2008

Apologetics From the Pulpit

Well, not so much apologetics as in the defense of the faith as apologizing. Peter Mead has a great post about the false though prevalent dichotomy between practical and doctrinal preaching (HT: Milton Stanley). Peter relates the lament of a well-known seminary professor over visiting speakers who introduce their messages with comments about leaving theology to the faculty and wanting to be practical.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. I can't count the number of pastors I've heard on the radio and in person who've timidly prefaced doctrinal expositions with an apology to the congregation as though the explanation of biblical theology is, at best, bitter medicine and, at worst, a necessary evil. Preachers don't regularly apologize for telling jokes and stories. Why, then, do we frequently feel compelled to beg our hearers' pardon for fulfilling the God-given mandate to "give instruction in sound doctrine" (Titus 1:9)?

Peter closes with this much-needed counsel to his peers:

Don’t give the impression that some sermons are biblical, exegetical, theological, doctrinal, while others are practical, pastoral, relevant and helpful. Strive to demonstrate that both sides are really on the same side - there really is no contest.

No comments: