Saturday, September 6, 2008

Irish Calvinist: I thought you said preaching was outdated?


Thanks to TC Black for pointing me to another home run post by Irish Calvinist. It reflects on preaching in light of the recently concluded American political conventions. 


Erik Raymond begins:

We are now in the home stretch of the presidential conventions. With the exception of the Olympics, these last several months have seemed like a constant barrage of speeches. The candidates and their respective teams believe that speeches are one of the best mediums for communicating their ideas to the American people.

I thought we were cutting edge?

Does this not sound a bit old fashioned to the sophisticated evangelical pastor? After all, we are told by many ‘experts’ today that talking to people in large chunks of time is not effective. Furthermore, it is often said to be arrogant and archaic to stand up behind a podium and have people sit down while you talk.

But what do you see at the National Conventions? A speaker, a podium, a crowd seated, an appeal to action, and even propositional statements! What’s more, we have panels of talking heads dissecting everything about the speeches with the tenacity of a hyper-calvinist in a Methodist church.

It seems to me that the people who are spending millions of dollars to get their candidates message out actually believe that this venue is appropriate. They have apparently not gotten the evangelical memo outlining the social dynamic of our culture and their inability to listen.  Political experts must have dismissed all of the questioning and imagination that goes on in the contemporary church about the role of the preacher and the delivery of the message, specifically with regard to the audience’s ability to hear and listen.  They seem to be doing the same thing that politicians with something to say have always done, they stand up talk and expect us to listen and interact with it.

Check out the rest of his great post here.

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