Monday, September 17, 2007

Yes, But What Do You Think About Methodology?


I quoted a line from it in a post yesterday, but today I want to link to it and excerpt it more lengthily.
C.J. Mahaney: Cross-Centered Worship (It's a free download.)

It will kick your butt. It did mine.

My own transcription of a bit from about 40 minutes in:
The message of the cross must discipline and control us, indeed limit us, even though it puts us at a disadvantage at winning an audience . . . What one observes in evangelicalism today is that while many preachers can declare allegiance to all the right doctrines, their theology makes little difference in their preaching, or in their worship leading, beyond drawing the widest, most amorphous, and seldom alluded to boundaries. Their formal credentials may be in order, but the theology they affirm sits very lightly on their actual practice of ministry. We reject any approach where theology sits lightly on the practice of ministry; theology is the foundation for all practice of ministry. It is invisible to their people. We are not going to have our theology invisible! Such ministers demonstrate little doctrinal specificity . . . The biblical gospel may be formally obligatory but it is personally uninteresting and strategically incidental . . .

Such ministers may be exacting in their methodology but they are vague in their theology. I think that is an apt description of the common tendency today. Exacting in methodology, preoccupied with methodology, pursuing methodology, seminars on methodology,overwhelmed by methodology, the material that is being produced on methodology. Now don't misunderstand -- I believe in methodology. I'm a local pastor. I believe in the gift of administration. But it's not primary! It's not our passion, it's not our preoccupation. It is peripheral and is clearly secondary. You are not leading, as biblically defined, if you are exacting on methodology and vague in theology. That is unacceptable.

At over an hour, it is really a homiletical work of art. Passionate, biblical, Christ-centered, polemical, relevant. Make some coffee and listen to it like you would a new CD by your favorite musician.

No comments: