Sabbatical Reading & Reflections

July 4, 2006

Brothers, thank you for your reflections.  I’m on my annual state capitol road trip with Nathan.  We’re in Natchez tonight, heading onto Baton Rouge tomorrow, and then on to Austin & Oklahoma City (Lord willing).  One thing I’ve been able to do on sabbatical from preaching, and on vacation this summer is to read more.  (I’m up to about 1/100th of your intake, Al!).  One of the books I’ve read is the collection of essays, ed. by John MacArthur, published by Crossway, called Fool’s Gold

As ministers who care that the Gospel be preached, that God’s Word be regularly expounded, and while I’ve been able to listen to a lot of other preachers this summer, one article by John M strongly reminded me of the importance of expositional preaching.  He does so in this article by listing negative effects of the superficial brand of preaching that is so rife in modern evangelicalism.  Here the 15 concerns John M wrote about.  These are worth reflecting on for us as preachers.  About such superficial preaching, he warns

1. It usurps the authority of God over the soul.

2. It removes the lordship of Christ from His church.

3. It hinders the work of the Holy Spirit.

4. It demonstrates appalling pride and a lack of submission.

5. It severs the preacher personally from the regular sanctifying grace of Scripture.

6. It clouds the true depth and transcendence of our message and therefore cripples both corporate and personal worship.

7. It prevents the preacher from fully developing the mind of Christ.

8. It depreciates by example the spiritual duty and priority of personal Bible study.

9. It prevents the preacher from being the voice of God on every issue of his time.

10. It breeds a congregation that is as weak and indifferent to the glory of God as their pastor is.

11. It robs people of their only true source of help.

12. It encourages people to become indifferent to the Word of God and divine authority.

13. It lies to people about what they really need.

14. It strips the pulpit of power.

15. It puts the responsibility on the preacher to change people with his cleverness.

If you want to read more about his meditations on each of these, see John MacArthur, Fool’s Gold, pp. 36-41.

Perhaps I’ll write some more later on this trip.  CJ, thanks so much for your warm reception of Thabiti.  What a joy to serve the Lord with brothers you love and respect!!