Prince on Preaching launched in February of 2014 and it has been a great year. Thank you to all our readers! We have had over 62,000 page views in just 10 months. We are looking forward to an even better year in 2015, I hope that you’ll continue to read and share the content we post here at Prince on Preaching.
1. The Real Proverbs 31 Mom
She was a new member of the church and asked me how she could get more involved. I mentioned several things including women’s ministry and when I did her countenance changed and she said, “I just cannot take another Proverbs 31 study!”
Why did she feel that way? I think it’s because we have often treated Proverbs 31 like a gospel-less job description but that is not how it functions at all in the book of Proverbs. (Continue Reading)
2. Andy Stanley — Stop Praying for Revival and Get to Work
Several years ago, Andy Stanley, pastor of the large and influential North Point Community Church, asserted that there is nothing distinct about Christian leadership. When asked the question, “What is distinctly spiritual about the kind of leadership you do?” responded, “There is nothing distinctly spiritual. I think a big problem in the church has been the dichotomy between spirituality and leadership.” The interviewer asks, Should we stop talking about pastors as shepherds’?” Andy Stanley responded, “Absolutely. That word needs to go away.” He added, “It was culturally relevant in the time of Jesus, but it’s not culturally relevant any more.” (Leadership Journal, “Get-it-Done Leadership,” May 2006).
Recently, he took to twitter to oppose Southern Baptists focusing on praying for revival at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. (Continue Reading)
3. Christianity and the New Liberalism: Homosexuality and the Evangelical Church
J. Gresham Machen is most well known for his opposition to liberal Protestantism and his trenchant defense of orthodox Christianity. He served as a professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary for 23 years during the time of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. In 1929, Machen left because of encroaching liberalism to form Westminster Theological Seminary. In his classic, Christianity and Liberalism (1923), he argued that liberalism was an altogether different religion than Christianity.
Machen’s critique of liberalism was prophetic and continues to be of abiding value 90 years after it was first published. For those observing the current move of some within evangelicalism who are taking incipient steps toward normalizing homosexuality in the church, reading Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism brings the realization that the arguments being presented as progressive and cutting edge are actually hauntingly recycled from the failed modernist project. (Continue Reading)
4. Is Andy Stanley Right That We Should Stop Saying “The Bible Says”?
“The Bible says!” was the unceasing assertion of the most notable evangelist of the 20th century—Billy Graham. For Graham, the Bible served as the essential bedrock of all of all his preaching and the repeated assertion of “the Bible says” rooted his Gospel proclamation in the authority of Scriptural revelation. As John Stott said of Graham, “He’s a man of the Bible” (Drummond, The Evangelist, vii).
In his book Deep & Wide, and in recent talks and interviews, prominent pastor and author Andy Stanley has argued that preachers should avoid saying, “The Bible says” in favor of of simply citing the human biblical author. He reasons, “In using phrases like ‘the Bible says,’ we assume a person is a Christian, because only a Christian takes the Old Testament and the New Testament as authoritative. So if I am going to preach to people who aren’t Christians I have to leverage a different point of authority if I am going to expect them to track along with me.”
With Andy Stanley’s widespread influence in evangelicalism his assertion deserves a response. (Continue Reading)
5. Black Sons, White Privilege, Ferguson, and the Gospel
“He is my son!”
The man behind the counter felt my anger. I stood beside my black son as the man had rolled his eyes and glared at my son with disgust saying, “I can’t do anything for him without his parents.” I was there to sign him in for a birthday party at a kid’s recreational place. There was no mistaking his racial contempt (I saw it all too often in my rural hometown) as he began ranting about those people who would just dump kids off. I quickly interrupted him and said, “He is my son!”
I’m white. Two of my sons are black. One of my white sons walked in later, not even on the party list, and strolled right by the desk without being asked to sign in at all. It seemingly did not matter whether he had a parent with him or not. I could cite countless other examples. Being the white dad of white and black sons has allowed me to unmistakably witness that people treat them differently because of their skin color. We have many humorous stories about our transracial family but we also have too many that evoke tears not laughter. (Continue Reading)