Category Archives: Tim Challies
According to blogger Tim Challies, “The Hottest Thing at Church Today” is expository preaching.
According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible. And just like that, decades of church growth bunkum is thrown under the bus. As Christianity Today says, “Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.”
For those unfamiliar with the concept, expository preaching is simply explaining what the text means and what it looks like in real life. It is a balance between explanation and application. It’s what I was taught to do years ago at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Seems my old-fashioned approach is now a trendy practice. And now that I’m a bald-headed expository preacher, I must be doubly trendy. Who knew?
Blogger Tim Challies has written two posts on the subject of using hymnals in church.
“What we lost when we lost our hymnals” describes the downside of using projected words instead of hymnals.
“What we gained when we lost the hymnal” describes the upside of using projected words instead of hymnals.
Neither article will convince you if you hold the opposite opinion. But Tim does a good job of being objective about the challenges inherent in the topic.
Samuel Rutherford once stated that we should “praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace.” He went on to explain that the “hammer molds us, the file shapes us and the fire tempers us.” All three experiences of course are painful, but we can praise God for them because we know and love the God who wields them.
A. W. Tozer, commenting on Rutherford’s statement, wrote, “The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in the holy work of preparing the saint for the sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.”
(Gene Getz, Joseph: Overcoming Obstacles Through Faithfulness. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1996, p. 109.)