Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Systematic or Consistent – Part 3

Did Peter promote an educated faith with no practical experience through sermons?

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.

I concluded that the messages of Peter were not sermons but evangelistic messages. I also concluded that it was not a diligently prepared sermon by our contemporary exegetical standards, but prepared through obedience and first hand practice walking with the Christ creating an outpouring of biblical truth that was confirmed in the acceptance of Jesus as Messiah. A natural outpouring of truth came from walking in truth for the 1st Century disciples.

DominoesNow, we turn to the continuation of the series and begin reviewing the characteristics of the messages that Peter delivered during and after his Pentecostal message. We look to these entries to evaluate the validity of Peter’s message in a context that was pregnant with expectation of a Messiah to free Israel from Roman rule. The implications of differentiating what Peter announced from modern sermonizing and New Testament preaching are monumental to the Christian witness. Continue reading Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Systematic or Consistent – Part 3

Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Obedience – Part 2

Was Peter a trained exegete that delivered sermons in the book of Acts?

In the previous post of this series, “Peter the Pulpit Preacher – Part 1“, I tried to introduce the gist of a well established and contemporary view of preaching. That view equates preaching with what would be better termed, “sermonizing.” In summary, the definition of preaching according to the view in question is that it is distinguished by four major characteristics:

  • Prepared
  • Systematic
  • Rhetorical
  • Presented

Peter_Preaching_at_PentecostFurthermore, the premise in question is that preaching as demonstrated by Peter in the book of Acts is not extemporaneous, but made ready, and executed according to plan. Moving ahead, the treatment of this topic is not to demean the benefits of prepared, diligent, and carefully studied exposition for God’s people. The treatment shall be to demonstrate something that I feel carries more weight given the context. What Peter does in the account written in Acts has nothing akin to what we call preaching today. Nor is what Peter does adequate for the instruction or teaching of God’s people when they have gathered as an assembly to be edified. Continue reading Peter the Pulpit Preacher: Obedience – Part 2

Peter the Pulpit Preacher – Part 1

Was Peter preaching or sermonizing in the book of Acts?

The sermon is under attack. Its accusers claim that it is ineffective or out of date. In contrast to such criticism, the sermon is heavily emphasized and utilized in many Christian meetings to communicate biblical data to the masses, as one blogger points out,

“The Sermon is so central to many groups that its delivery is one of the main duties of a professionally trained and salaried individual, the pastor.”

With his essay the blogger highlights not problems with sermons, but specific problems affecting today’s sermons in our modern context. The post in pulpitriserturn draws attention to biblical anecdotes, the effectiveness of a good sermon, and even how to benefit as a listener.

The post offers a highly insightful and well reasoned presentation in defense of the sermon. It may even surprise you that this brother’s idea of a sermon allows for questioning and verbal interaction. In the end, the post itself rests upon the premise that sermons are biblical, and have precedent through scriptural reference. I would like to view sermonizing from a different vantage point. Since Peter’s message in the book of Acts is the premise by which the author has defended the sermon I would rather consider the nature of Peter’s messages in Acts. Continue reading Peter the Pulpit Preacher – Part 1

Jesus said it, but nobody is listening #3

This post is an entry in the series “Jesus said it, but nobody is listening.” I’ll offer some of my thoughts, and then wait for you to share yours!

(Matthew 18:15) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Here is an archaic challenge for a modern society. Today with the ease of access to major media outlets and other sources of information, finding fault in something is not difficult to do. Even simpler is the ability to lash out and brandish spiteful status updates, blog posts, and other venues that provide instant release for a diatribe via your keyboard. It is even more worrisome that those closest to us are more susceptible to becoming victims of this abuse because the computer monitor provides a veil of protection not otherwise breeched in person or face to face with others. What then when the issue involves a professing Christian, a brother, or a sister in the faith? Continue reading Jesus said it, but nobody is listening #3

Christian fellowship allows others to see your messes

Are other people allowed in your refrigerator?

Growing up, the refrigerator door was not a toy. At least that is what I remember mom telling me when I would swing it open. She also used to remind me that no duration of time spent gawking into the shelves would make any yummy treats appear that were not already present. Needless to say, I was not allowed to swing, peer aimlessly, or pointlessly open the door to the fridge without reason.

However, should I need to provide myself with a sandwich or a cup of kool-aid, the door was always an option, and I generally exercised privilege when there was purpose to the opening of the fridge. But there was an unspoken policy in place when it came to other people opening that door. Having many friends from the neighborhood over frequently, the house was common ground to most who passed through. But, the fridge was not to be opened by those who did not reside in the house. Our home operated on a budget and a single income, sometimes even on state or federal assistance, making the contents of our fridge very valuable indeed.

The refrigerator door was not to be opened by those who were not residents of the home, and those who did would be quickly reminded not to enter the forbidden fridge zone.

Continue reading Christian fellowship allows others to see your messes