Twice in recent
weeks I’ve wasted some free time watching Christian Satellite TV; on both
occasions someone speaking at well known evangelical Christian events in the UK. The first programme made my heart sink.
The speaker, who I hadn’t heard before, talked complete rubbish making comments
that are contrary to the Biblical text (how is this allowed to happen?). The
second was better but a misrepresentation of the description of God in the OT
in an attempt to make a valid point about God’s grace.
It seems to me the
problem is threefold.
confuse clarity and simplicity. Clarity is desirable but you don’t need to over
simply things to achieve it.
– We value
entertainment more highly than transformation. It is good to be engaging but
the value of a message should not be measured by how amusing the anecdotes are.
allow relevance to be an excuse for sloppiness. God speaks in conformity to God’s
character and prophetic speech will resonate with God’s.
Apart from reading Glen’s excellent article (here) I suggest every conference speaker
1. Speak from a
single text not a string of Bible verses. What matters is the proclamation of
the word of God not your attempts at systematic theology.
2. Make sure you
understand what textual / theological issues arise from the text you use; if
you don’t know, and have no idea how the passage has shaped Christian thought,
read a couple of commentaries on the passage.
3. Take care how you
use argument, anecdotes, jokes and emotion: remember a holy God is listening. Ethos,