The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Of popularity and power

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Jerry Wragg addresses and exposes some of the reasoning used to self-justify certain popular ministries:

As with other seasons of church history when preaching was slowly stripped of its precision, clarity, and doctrinal depth, many contemporary congregations have slowly been robbed of the same. The problem is: they don’t know it. The erosion has been too subtle. The banks of the river have been slowly compromised at the foundation while happy campers frolic at the raging water’s edge. And it’s only a matter of time before the soil gives way. People today gladly sit through sermons that, were it not for some reference to a passage or verse, are little more than motivational speeches drawn primarily from life-experience and a mix of truth and earthly opinions. If ever confronted about their lack of doctrinal or theological depth, teachers consistently ballyhoo their swelling numbers as ministry collateral. With confidence, they deduce that behind large numbers is a uniquely gifted, one-of-a-kind expositor “bringing it like no other.” I’m concerned that in many cases, neither the preacher’s gifting, nor his expositional skills, nor the congregation’s love of definitive truth has anything to do with the hype. It’s often the result of the dumbed-down leading the equally dumbed-down with no one truly being “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:6).

Read it all, and wince.

UPDATE: Part two, focusing on preaching, is here.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 9 November 2011 at 17:02

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