Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?
New Testament Teaching
No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading
An old pastors’ adage says, “Those who can’t, go; those who can’t go, teach”—the shortened aphorism for “Those who can’t preach, go to the mission field; those who can’t go to the mission field, teach.” Whoever created this useless and unbiblical proverb deserves appointment as minister of sanitation over church restrooms. This adage contradicts the following truths:
Every man going to the mission field must be able to preach the Word.
No one should go to the mission field as their second or third option for ministry.
I have been told this for a very long time, especially in seminary where I was learning to rightly divide God’s Word. The Bible was not written in a vacuum. It was written in real history, with real people, making real speeches, writing with real pens & ink & paper, with real burdens to see God’s holiness perfected in God’s people. And each book makes an argument for us to live as God intended: for His glory. Every passage, then, must be taken at face value and interpreted in its context, so that the truth contained will be understood as God the Author intended it to be understood.… Continue reading
The job of a weather man is to give the weather forecast. His success is built upon if his prediction happens. The job of a waiter or waitress in a restaurant is to wait on people as they decide what they will eat and drink for the evening. Their success is found in their being helpful with the menu, offering suggestions, bringing out the food in a timely manner, and being overall kindly.… Continue reading
This past Sunday we had a wonderful time of worship together at our little church in Bakersfield. Both morning and evening services were beautiful and I couldn’t help but express thanks to God as I drove home. I kept thinking how fortunate I was that God allowed me to be part of this church, but I also kept thinking how amazing it is that we are even allowed to worship the Lord. When you think about it, we have no right to come before a Holy God to offer our thanks. Who are we? He doesn’t need our feeble attempts at praise.… Continue reading