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Preaching the Truth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 23 April 2012 10:40

The Preacher we heard yesterday preached, according to her, the Gospel of Christ's Death and Resurrection.  The only problem was she didn't!  Jesus was, she said, a victim and martyr.  He served women, the poor, the sick and marginalized and paid the price for it.  His teaching and actions got him in trouble with the rich and powerful of his day and they had to get rid of him.  But, be encouraged she told us, God enabled Jesus to overcome that opposition.  He rose from the grave and still lives to carry on his work through us.  The death and resurrection were metaphors for spiritual truths.  Evil will not triumph.  Good will overcome the bad.  Life will follow death.  The end of one thing leads to the beginning of another.  Nice aphorisms, but not the Gospel.  Her Gospel was not about the Atonement for the sins of the world.  Her Gospel was not about the resurrection of the body and the death of death. 

Christians do not suffer and die for aphorisms.  The Preacher was not taking the Bible seriously.  Jesus' death and resurrection are to be taken as historical facts, not poetic metaphors.  And both the Lord's own interpretation of those events, as well as that of his Apostles, are to be taken in the common sense meaning of their words.  If we take Scripture seriously, the grammatical-historical rules of interpretation Scripture must also be taken seriously- for the sake of God and for our Salvation!   Indeed, the Church needs to be saved from Preachers of falsehood instead of Truth

John Stott tape on Preaching PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 20:28

There is a true treat at Kudos Press website for all of you who remember John Stott.  There you will find an original lecture he gave on how to prepare and deliver an expositional sermon, such as he was famous for doing.  Fresh from Urbana in late 1976, he delivered this message in a church in California. This is a very audible tape which is inspirational as well as very helpful to all who want to preach the Word effectively.  I urge you to check it out!


Last Updated on Monday, 23 April 2012 10:16
The night when God got Oysters PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Saturday, 03 March 2012 05:58

The early Methodist meetings were often led by lay preachers with very limited education. On one occasion, such a preacher took as his text Luke 19:21, "Lord, I feared thee, because thou art an austere man." Not knowing the word "austere," he thought that the text spoke of "an oyster man." He spoke about the work of those who retrieve oysters from the sea-bed. The diver plunges down from the surface, cut off from his natural environment, into bone-chilling water. He gropes in the dark, cutting his hands on the sharp edges of the shells. Now he has the oyster, and kicks back up to the surface, up to the warmth and light and air, clutching in his torn and bleeding hands the object of his search. So Christ descended from the glory of heaven into the squalor of earth, into sinful human society, in order to retrieve humans and bring them back up with Him to the glory of heaven, His torn and bleeding hands a sign of the value He has placed on the object of His quest. Twelve men were converted that evening. Afterwards, someone complained to Wesley about the inappropriateness of allowing preachers who were too ignorant to know the meaning of the texts they were preaching on. Wesley, simply said, "Never mind, the Lord got a dozen oysters tonight."

written by James Kiefer in today's Morning Prayer (Mission of St Clare)

God's opinion of Preachers who do not do expository preaching PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:40

Since retiring from the Pastorate, I have sat in the pew and listened to hundreds of sermons. It is the rare today to her expository preaching, ie preaching which digs in,  opens up, explains and applies passages of Scripture. Why is this? Though claiming to be Evangelical, many Pastors and certainly  do not take the Scripture seriously.  They have grown to doubt verbal and propositional revelation.  And far from believing is Sola Scriptura, they have no confidence in the content of their Bibles or in ts power.  While they read it from the pulpit, they feel compelled to add to it, elaborate on it or use it simply as a spring board into their own personal ideas and stories.  Repeatedly, a passage is read and instead of simply preaching it, the common practice is to take one phrase or image found in the text and off to the races of man-made material they go.  This is a sin and a shame.

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, Deut 4:2

"Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it." Deut 12:

These verses do not mean Pastors are not to prepare sermons but only read Scripture to their people, no more or no less.  No, Pastors  are to be expositors of Scripture, using their own words to enable their people to understand exactly what Scripture says and means, like Jesus did, (Luke 24:27 and 32) like Philip did (Acts 8:30-35) and Priscilla and Aquila did (Acts 18:26) and like the Levites did (Neh 8:8)

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2012 18:59
Comparing Friendly's Restaurants and Churches PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:13

We live in the hometown of the Friendly's Ice Cream Restaurants chain.   It began as an actual ice cream stand run by two Brothers in downtown Springfield.  Over the decades they have had the usual ups and downs as time and the culture change.  It is now reorganizing under new ownership, after going though Bankruptcy.  That means new menus and decor, but also a new business model.  From the beginning the main entree and attraction has been wonderful varieties of ice cream.  Even though they also offer sandwiches and other typical restaurant fare, Friendly's has been a child oriented and family focused business.  It is a place where kids bring their parents.  The new model will be a place where parents might bring their children.  This means they will now, it is said, offer beer and wine and food like many other mid-range restaurants like Applebee's and NinetyNine. This is a model that they hope will increase business.  They will apparently make the product that made them famous, there specialty, ice cream, secondary- just a desert- not the main attraction.  Attracting children with families is not working, so they will go for the adult market.  This is all the conjecture I read in the local paper.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:06
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