Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The danger of Christian sluggishness

In my part of the evangelical world there has been quite a lot of debate lately around the appropriate length of sermons. Some of it was kicked off by a motion moved at a denominational meeting that proposed mandating that sermons be 20 minutes or less in all its churches. Then there was a subsequent Facebook discussion a week or so ago on the same topic in which there was much heat, little light, and—it seemed to me—a whole dimension of the discussion missing. (How unusual for Facebook!)

You see, one of the things that trouble me about discussions of sermon length is the all-too-frequent assumption that it’s the preachers who need to change if people are switching off in sermons. Intuitively, that just doesn’t feel right to me.

As I was pondering these matters, Hebrews 3 and 4 came to mind, with the repeated refrain (originating, of course, from Psalm 95): “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion....” Read More

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