Monday, October 22, 2012

A Word for Preachers...Sidney Griedanus on Christ-Centered Preaching

"In 1976, while a pastor in Delta, British Columbia, I preached a series of sermons on Ecclesiastes. After hearing one of these theocentric sermons, a retired pastor approached me and said, 'I appreciated your sermon, Sid, but could a rabbi have preached your sermon in a synagogue?' I was dumbfounded by the question, but it set me to thinking about the issue of Christocentric preaching. Of course, a rabbi and I have the Old Testament in common. Moreover, since wisdom is a reflection on 'customary orders in the world,' the message of wisdom literature would be the same for the church as for the synagogue. So yes, a rabbi could have preached that sermon in a synagogue without causing offense. But if that was the case, had I preached an 'Old Testament sermon' instead of a 'Christian sermon'? Should not my sermons on Old Testament passages reflect that these passages now function in the context of the New Testament? Should not the sermons of Christian preachers be distinctively Christian?"

Sidney Griedanus
Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes


Steve Martin said...

What a blessing to have friends that will be honest with you.

Indeed, after a good Christian sermon, there should be no left standing, but the Lord Jesus.


Another good piece of advice to preachers is to preach as though those in the pews were on their death beds (as we pretty much are - it's just a matter of when).

If you can't preach it to someone on their deathbed, then it probably isn't worth preaching. So much for all the stuff that we should, ought, and must be doing (law preaching for betterment).

Thank you, Pastor.

Pete Scribner said...

Thanks for the comment. It is good indeed to have friends willing to speak the truth to you. We should all pray for such friends!