Too blog or not

Well, the keys are dusty and the blog needs to be swept up a bit. But all is still here and in working order. I have considered blogging again. Winter is coming and life slows down a little – not much, but maybe enough to consider some musings.

Is anyone still out there?

MLK Jr. | It is non-violence or non-existence

mlkDuring my formative years, the Civil Rights Movement was standard curriculum in school. I believe it was the fourth or fifth grade we first started studying it. Growing up in a mixed culture,  African-American History was a prominent part of the education we received. I remember being enthralled with the struggle that existed and recall relief that the problems we were reading about had at least come to some semblance of resolution. After all, most of the kids sitting around me were African-American.

I remember the clips that reeled off the projector as it cast the black and white images, news clips, and scratchy sound bites that gave us a glimpse of what the American culture was experiencing at that time on the silver screen in front of the class. I also remember the feeling of genuine sadness that I am not sure I have experienced in any other form as I did during those lessons. I sat with a curiosity and disbelief that not even hindsight could provide an explanation for. Now, just over four decades removed from the day that Martin Luther King Jr. was shot I can ask and answer the question as to why the assassin pulled that trigger. Continue reading MLK Jr. | It is non-violence or non-existence

Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Worth dying for – Part 4b

How would you feel the moment a messenger of God told you the man you helped kill was alive and made King?

In the first post of this series on the messages of Peter in the book of Acts, we surveyed the dilemma of New Testament preaching versus modern sermonizing. Then, in the second post we evaluated the characteristics of today’s sermons and began to look at how they measure up to what was communicated by Peter and the other disciples during the feast of Pentecost. In the third post the contrast behind modern systematic exposition and 1st century preaching is breached. In the first part of the fourth post the discussion turns to the message that is worth dying for and sheds light on why pulpit preaching is powerless and a pale manifestation of preaching “Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2)

Peter has remained consistent in his presentation thus far. He has had five opportunities to preach Christ and at each one he has done so extemporaneously. In five different sets of circumstances he has introduced the message of a crucified/murdered Jesus of Nazareth on the heels of a miraculous event. Now we turned to the reciprocal portion of the message. The power of the miracles witnessed by the audiences in each message rests on the resurrection of Jesus. Each column gives an accurate portrait of the message Peter preached. The emphasis is on the fact that God raised up Christ – and he said so five times. Continue reading Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Worth dying for – Part 4b

Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Worth dying for – Part 4a

435px-Pordenone,_Martyrdom_of_St_Peter
Martyrdom of Peter

Peter preached a gospel message that later cost him his life! What sermon would you die for?

In the first post of this series on the messages of Peter in the book of Acts, we surveyed the dilemma of New Testament preaching versus modern sermonizing. Then, in the second post we evaluated the characteristics of today’s sermons and how began to look at how they measure up to what was communicated by Peter and the other disciples during the feast of Pentecost. In the third post the contrast behind modern systematic exposition and 1st century preaching is breached. In this entry, the crux of the dilemma is brought into light as we explore the message that was worth dying for. Sadly, it is also a reminder of why pulpit preaching is powerless and a pale manifestation of preaching “Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2)

Webster’s dictionary defines systematic as: using a careful system or method : done according to a system

I have insinuated that today’s pulpit preaching is not comparable to the New Testament gospel proclamations in the book of Acts by Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I have also stated that defining those messages as systematic in defense of the careful, planned, and systematic presentation of sermons from today’s pulpits is erroneous. Succinctly, it is justification for a form of sermonizing that is intended to teach but merely weakens its hearers. Did Peter go to his pastoral library, crack open his papyrus version of Bibleworks, layout his Rabbinical commentary sets, and then craft one of the most powerful messages ever to be spoken on planet earth?

The rationalization of sermonizing as a continuation of New Testament preaching creates an atmosphere that frees the church an understanding of Christian living with no practical experience of such. It also facilitates the oppression of the gifts of the spirit in the primary meeting of the church gathered. Continue reading Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Worth dying for – Part 4a