Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Wonderful Catch-22 of Gospel-Centered Preaching

Over at another blog this week I saw a commenter refer to a gospel-centered preacher as a "one-note Johnny." Regular readers are already familiar with the purpose of consistent gospel-centered preaching. (My most recent thoughts were on The Beautiful Monotony of the Gospel.) But the reason we have to keep urging gospel-centrality in preaching is the same reason why we all need to have the gospel beat into our heads continually: we are all tempted to depart from it.

The critic of the one-note Johnnyism of gospel-centrality just doesn't get it. But the gospel is versatile enough for those who do and don't. And there's the awesomeness of gospel-centered preaching! It's a wonderful Catch-22. Those who haven't yet experienced gospel wakefulness can only do so by hearing the gospel, and those who have experienced gospel wakefulness don't tire of hearing it!


Dan said...

Jared, you come on strong in this post, but I urge you to take it one step further...not only are we tempted to leave the gospel if we don't have it beat into us...we flat out DO leave it!

Or at least I have tried to at times (to take my salvation into my own hands in the hope of works). We need more gospel preaching/teaching. "Boring" is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I am going to add you to my BLOGroll.

nhe said...

A-friggin-men Jared. I'm actually finding myself becoming haughty toward preaching/teaching/discipleship/heck anything "of God" that is not gospel-centric.

I mentioned in the other thread that we're going to an Andy Stanley satellite now - and even that (though he's a phenomenal communicator) isn't enough for me - because he's still not gospel-centered in his preaching as I would define it.

Am I like a gospel snob now? Is that ok? The cure for me is always to ingest two Keller sermons and have a QT in the morning......and more cowbell.

Spike said...

Are gospel central folks the only ones who realize how bad we need it (the gospel) every day (every minute)? Are those who are not gospel centric, but more "bible centric, or Christ centric" not aware of gospel transformation?

I know a good bible preacher who assumes his bible preaching is transforming his flock. Just as he encourages them to read it themselves and be transformed,(by doing what it says.) But he has no idea how the gospel, and applying it's grace, can actually change the way you think. What's a fellow to do?

Sometimes I think that it's harder to "get it" if your life has been easy. And those of us who need God desperately, or rather are willing to admit it, tend to fall right into it. Gospel living isn't a "book learned" thing. You either have to, or want to, depend on it (Him), or you don't. So is "gospel dependency" another one of my flaws now, or is it my greatest asset? Ha!

nhe said...

Spike - I think you actually can "get it" from gospel-centered preaching. I had been on Campus Crusade staff for 12 year and heard gobs of "good" speakers, but never "got it" until I heard Keller for the first time in 1997 on a trip to NYC - it was a big moment.

Since then, I've been looking for it locally here in Atlanta.....I get glimmers of hope here and there....but haven't found it.