John on March 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm
I thought I knew where they were coming from, but apparently there’s a lot more diversity of opinion at PyroManiacs than I gleaned from an occasional visit. I had the impression they were the hardcore Reformed Calvinists on the web, their keyboards dripping with disdain for the emergent church and all things “relevant.” They were supposed to be the guys standing up for preaching the word without compromise or wishy-washy contextualizing of the Gospel. Right?
So what’s up with this post by Dan Philips titled Context-Sensitive Preaching?
In the synagogue in Pisidan Antioch, Paul preaches Jesus straight from Torah (13:15-41). But in the next chapter, this same apostle connects with the would-be worshipers by preaching in connection with that sin (14:15-17). And then again, in Athens, confronted with the philosophers, Paul quotes from their own writers so glibly that they call him a spermologos, a “seed-picker” who can peck out a quotation here and there (v. 18).
And so, when the apostle preaches to them, what he says is absolutely and firmly based in Scripture, without even one direct allusion. Students of the Old Testament know that everything Paul says comes straight from that source, and he brings it crashing down on their hostile Weltanschauung. But he connects the unchanging message with the changing audience.
Read that last sentence again. Now tell me…How is this different from the seeker-sensitive approach that — I thought anyway — the Pyro guys were against? Aren’t “context-sensitive” and seeker-sensitive pretty darn close to the same thing?
Oh, I’m sure there’s some differences we could tease out. I’m sure you could point to examples of “seeker-sensitive” chruches that go too far or lose the message. But be charitable for a moment. Is it possible that “context-sensitive” is exactly what “seeker-sensitive” churches have in mind, i.e. meet people where they are?
I’ve never spoken to Dan Phillips, but reading this post it seemed as if he’d just discovered something a bunch of people have been saying for, I don’t know, ten years. As I say, maybe I was wrong about them. In any case, welcome aboard the context-sensitive bandwagon, Dan!
Category: Religion & Faith |