Thursday, February 21, 2008

Beyond Advice

One more and then I drop it till tomorrow. :-)

This is from John Armstrong's essay "Semper Reformanda" in the book Reforming Pastoral Ministry, which I'm currently reading and which is totally awesome.
The Bible is still preached, after a certain fashion. But it is preached as a handbook for daily living, an inspiring resource for solving practical problems in life and home, a how-to book for busy modern living. We teach Bible stories to our children, but the stories we teach have become moral lessons in how to be better children. As more than one critic as noted, we still teach the Bible story of David and Goliath. The problem is, we teach the story as a means for inspiring adults and children to slay the giants that arise in their daily lives. We do not teach this biblical story, in other words, with a proper Christocentric focus.

But what is the actual purpose or intent of the Word of God? What does God desire for His flock to get from the text that faithful ministers preach week after week? Jesus answered this question when He responded to the manner in which the Pharisees handled the text: "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life" (John 5:39-40). This reveals the dangers of any group, including the most conservative, in turning the Scriptures into a "practical" word for life today. We must get beyond this "practical" use of the Bible or we will never see true reforming of the church's life and ministry.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning tips for abundant living . . .

1 comment:

Brian said...

I'm thinking it would be beneficial if pastors would consult The Jesus Storybook Bible when preparing their sermons. :)