October 25, 2014

Reflections on “Biblical” Preaching

I have preached and listened to preaching for many years (decades) now. Over time my understanding of “good” preaching has evolved. And my hunger for good preaching has increased.

Hard-Ass Leadership?

I will resist the temptation to make this a mere rant today. Although everything within me wants to simply mock and shred the article to which I will respond, in this case I don’t think it would be the best approach. I say this because the subject is not just a matter of Christian silliness, […]

Another Look: Carl

Note from CM: Names have been changed. This post was first published in 2011. This past weekend we talked about “Carl” and his wife with many friends, remembering their strength and God’s faithfulness to them. I was impressed afresh at how much I learned from such simple, daily relationships as this one in my first […]

Paul Zahl: Grace in Pastoral Ministry

  He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. – Matthew 12:20, NRSV * * * Pastors see many things. It is easy to get angry in ministry. One can become overwhelmed by brokenness, dysfunction, and trouble in people’s lives. A pastor feels responsible. A […]

Paul Zahl: Humor in the Pulpit

I remember well a special meeting we had in seminary when our wives were invited to join us for a discussion of marriage. One of the speakers was Walt Kaiser, one of my favorite profs at Trinity. Dr. Kaiser is among the most winsome people I’ve ever met. His lectures and preaching were always filled […]

Don’t Even Think about Preaching on That

I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.     I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much.     I’m ready to shut up and listen. – Job 40:3-5, MSG * * * The other day I drove by a church with which I’m familiar and noticed that they were doing a sermon series […]

What Is the Goal of Preaching?

Do you agree with Rick Warren that, “The Aim of Preaching Is Life Transformation”? Here is an excerpt from his article: If God’s objective for every believer is to transform us into total Christlikeness, then the objective of preaching is to motivate people to develop Christlike convictions (to think like Jesus), Christlike character (to feel like Jesus), […]

Now, I Wear a Robe

Jason Micheli has expressed some interesting thoughts about an experience he had as a robed pastor in his post, Clergy Robes and Anonymous Notes in Church. I encourage you to go and read his post before proceeding. More about that in a moment. I grew up in United Methodist Churches where clergy wore robes. So […]

The Pastor: Remembering the Poor

 …when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was […]

The Pastor: Waiting Tables

Christianity is a meal fellowship. And ministry is table service. This is the focus and content of a remarkable chapter in Gordon W. Lathrop’s book, The Pastor: A Spirituality. And this is the chapter that, most of all, sets the liturgical traditions apart from the free churches. This is what many of us who fled […]