This week I’ve been privilege to listen to some great preachers, yet something that’s saddened me is the way that their contextual lens has so influenced their reading of the passage:

Ajith Fernando – spoke on the need to re-engage with creative proclamation – which is his theme as Director for Youth for Christ.

Ruth Padilla DeBorst – she raised the bar on the academic content in the exposition, and took on major issues such as justice, peace, and equality in relationships.

John Piper – brought penal substitution into a passage for which it had no real direct reference and had to use 1 Corinthians to back his point up and then running out of time to develop the interesting points he had from the passage.

Vaughan Roberts – preached well, took the theme of proclamation (not surprising given he leads The Proclamation Trust) but sad that it all seemed to be about preaching of basic truths, it would have been great to hear a wider understanding of this that included narrative and story-telling for example.

Now this may just me being overly critical but it’d be nice if to some degree, given it’s expositional preaching with minimal application (as that’s being done in the Table Groups), that they attempted to focus on the passage without guiding the application to such a degree.

We all put a lens on how we read scripture, and in one sense it makes sense to ask people who are experts in the theme of each chapter, but at times those experts seemed to twist the plenary into a talk on their theme rather than an exegesis of the scriptural passage.

I don’t know what parameters the speakers have had, and so they may have actually done what was asked of them, and therefore the challenge would lie at the feet of the Lausanne team, but either way it’d be nice to see a development in this preaching.

What does anyone else think?

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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