A Few Example Posts:

  • "The End of Faith: A Short Response to Sam Harris"
  • See also:
  • "A Long Response to Sam Harris' The End of Faith, by Neil Shenvi"

  • "Is John Piper the Best Answer to Emergence and Postmodernism?"

  • "Captured"

  • "The Storm is Over"

  • "If Golfing Were the Pursuit of Moral Perfection"

  • 8.15.2005

    Ain't it Preaching?

    Posting from Florida.

    We made an all night drive to Hurricane Land last night for some vacation time. I found an obliging library to make this post--they didn't even make me get a library card!

    On the way down, I remembered some "constructive criticism" I received a few years ago about my preaching. A gentlemen told me that he had to go home after one of my sermons and look up in the dictionary a word I had used. He informed me that I needed "to keep the cookies on the lowest shelf" so everyone could get them. He then said, "Maybe you should say 'ain't' a few times in your sermon." (We do live in East Tennessee.) He thought that if I said 'ain't', I'll could connect to the people more easily.

    What do you think? Should we "ain't" our sermons?I know that putting the cookies on the very top shelf makes a wasted sermon. If I go over everybody's head, I haven't communicated.However, something inside me asks, "Can't we at least put everything on the middle shelf?" This way, people can get the goods, but they have to reach for it--just a little. I ask preachers and those who listen to preachers, "Is not the middle shelf a good thing?"If people have to reach just a little:

    1. They feel respected. The sub-text of the sermon says, "I don't believe you are stupid."
    2. They feel that they have learned something. People want to learn at church, don't they?
    3. They are forced to think. If they are excited about what they have learned, and they think on it during the week--is this not the beginning of Scriptural meditation?

    Boring people from the pulpit is a crime, but there is a reverse boredom that arises in a listener from not being challenged.The underlying philosophy of this rambling, hurried, be-finished-quickly-with-the-library computer-because-others-are-waiting post is this:IT IS TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO BE THINKING PEOPLE. Let's help them do that.

    So I ask you again: Should we "ain't" our sermons?

    Let me know.


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