Return to Content
Read Our Devotional
Opportunities to be Published
The Home for Christian Writers! Matthew 6:33
ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BY COMMENTING
Add to Favorites
How Expository Preaching Has Stunted The Reformation
Author requests article critique
In a previous article, I set out my view that an over-reliance on expository preaching during the past 150 years or so has weakened the spiritual health and numerical strength of the Church. It has done so by raising up several generations of “Peter Pan” Christians. They may have acquired a living, saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but they'll never grow to spiritual maturity.
“Peter Pan” Christians remain forever immature because they lack a number of essential skills to reach spiritual adulthood, and live successfully in that condition. Their piecemeal exposure to the Bible denies them a coherent overview of God's self-revelation through time in the Scriptures. What's more, they never learn how and why to search the Scriptures for themselves.
As a result, such Christians never learn to feed themselves or others from the Bible; they only live out as much Christian truth as others explain to them; and they never learn how to distinguish truth from error for themselves. Crucially, they're often also spiritually barren, unable and unwilling to pass on the basis of their faith to others in word and deed. They can neither pre-evangelize, evangelize, nor disciple others effectively.
At this point, you may well grant all this is clearly bad news for the modern Church if I'm right, but wonder what any of this has to do with the distinctive values of the Protestant Reformation. My reply is that the value to the Church of the Reformation lies entirely in its capacity to offer Christian truth in a way which enhances and builds up the Church as a whole in the sight of God. If the Reformers were right, yet the Church has suffered on an unbalanced diet, how can the Reformation have been undamaged?
For the purposes of this article I will skip over “sola fide”, “sola scriptura”, and “semper reformanda” (the Reformation as a process rather than a product). These are all vital matters, but it would take some time to do any or all of these points justice. For now, I will concentrate instead on the great Reformation truth of the priesthood of all believers. What does it mean to be a priest? A priest is one chosen by God to mediate between Himself and a non-priestly people, bringing offerings from each to the other. During the course of a service conducted by a priest, the priest represents God to the people and the people to God.
How many Peter Pan Christians will ever learn to model Christ to the wider world or their fellow Christians? How many of them will ever learn the importance of intercessory prayer for our carnal churches and unbelieving world before the throne of God? A few, perhaps, but no more. It would all depend on what their minister teaches them about such things. So how, I ask, can such a Christian love fellow Christians not just as their minister loves them, but as Jesus loves them?
Let me close by stressing two important points. First of all, I'm not saying expository preaching has no place in the life of the Church. I am saying that it's unhealthy and unwise to use it almost to the exclusion of any other way of preparing the saints for works of service. Secondly, I'm not saying that people raised on a diet of expository preaching aren't Christians. What I am saying is that Christians are very unlikely to grow to spiritual maturity on expository preaching alone. I will be happy to explore under contract how we might remedy this sorry state of affairs.
© 2014 by Christopher Bevis. A Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England, a Christian for many years, and an avid reader for even longer, Christopher is a new writer based in the UK who has long-standing friends and contacts in the USA. He can be contacted for matters relating to Christian writing via the Faithwriters.com website.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
Reader Count & Comments
This article has been read
Read more articles by
or search for other articles by topic below.
Search for articles on: (e.g. creation; holiness etc.)
Read more by clicking on a link:
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
FaithWriters offers Christian reading material for Christian readers. We offer Christian articles, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, Christian Bible studies, Christian poems, Christian articles for sale, free use Christian articles, Christian living articles, New Covenant Christian Bible Studies, Christian magazine articles and new Christian articles. We write for Jesus about God, the Bible, salvation, prayer and the word of God.
Link To Us
Become A Member