The Centrality of Preaching

by John Yoder on July 25, 2016

In light of last week’s sermon on Preaching as a Means of Grace, I thought you would benefit from this article by Pastor Tom Lyon on “The Centrality of Preaching”.  The sermon was delivered in June, 2005, before a gathering of ministers in Dublin, Ireland and then it was published with some changes as an article in the Banner of Truth Magazine, Nov. 2005

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Preaching has fallen on hard times. But this has happened before. Calvin wrote:

“At the present day there are many who are well-nigh sickened by the very name of preaching, because there are so many stupid, ignorant men who blurt out their worthless brainwaves from the pulpit.”

That was four hundred and fifty years ago! Today, not only has preaching been decentralized, but the greater part of what is called “preaching” no longer deserves to be at the center. This has created a vacuum, and few have raised a voice while a Pandora’s Box of replacements has rushed in to fill the void.

Rises and Falls in Preaching

A. W. Tozer saw the danger:

“One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity in evangelical circles, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them. That mentality which mistakes Hollywood for the Holy City is too gravely astray to be explained otherwise than as a judicial madness visited upon professing Christians for affronts committed against the Spirit of God.”

And John MacArthur aptly described it:

“Worship services in many churches today are like a merry-go-round. You drop a token in the collection box; it is a good ride. There’s music and lots of motion up and down. The ride is carefully timed and seldom varies in length. Lots of good feelings are generated, and it is the one ride you can be sure will never be the least bit threatening or challenging. But though you spend the whole time feeling as if you’re moving forward, you get off exactly where you got on.”

…For the rest of the article go here.

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