“…it was not uncommon for the Puritan churchgoers to imbibe 8-12 hours of sermons per week” The Cripplegate
- About SI
While preaching should change the hearer while listening, doesn't James 1:23-25 indicate that the ongoing effect is important, too? It seems to me that 8-12 hours a week would make it very easy for someone to be a hearer but not a doer.
Maybe I'm missing his point.
I loved the conclusion of the article:
"Don't work as hard on the clever outline as on the accuracy of the truth." Do we really believe the word of God is powerful or do we think we have to be powerful in how we frame it? I am not trying to excuse a boring delivery, but if we really focus on the truth of the text, the scriptures are not boring, they are exciting. I fear too much exciting truth is missed simply because we are trying to make it interesting by our own efforts. Worse yet much truth ends up being distorted by those same efforts.
I wonder if the article is looking at things backwards. Maybe we should be considering today why we're drinking from a sippy cup - parched from so little preaching in our lives.
I think the author came at his point in a bit of a roundabout way, so his point may be a bit muddled.
He's saying that a large quantity of preaching doesn't have to impair my ability to take away some benefit. If I'm trying to benefit by remembering incidentals of the outline, like a list of steps, then yes, I'm going to flounder. But if I listen attentively and obediently and seek to be changed, then the Holy Spirit will work.
So the solution is not to reduce the quantity of preaching, nor to focus on managing the quantity of incoming info, but to let the Holy Spirit work through the preached Word.
And the application for preachers is great. Frankly, I don't save my own sermon notes/illustrations/etc. Anything I've added to the delivery has little enduring value. Any enduring benefit I've gained from my preparation for sermon X still still be there when I return to the passage later...because the benefit is in the text itself, not my arrangement/delivery.
Sippy-cup discipleship. Heh. Good one Chip. The. Puritan's problems not withstanding they excelled in understanding serious preoccupation with Christ cannot be without serious preoccupation with His Word. Secondly and practically we learn through repetition which is why our educational systems are set up this way.