“How Preaching is Usually Taught in Seminary”

“How Preaching is Usually Taught in Seminary”

My Doktorvater, Thorsten Moritz, posted a fun video today. To say the least, he offers thoughts worth considering! Here is the video, followed by its description:

The most widespread method taught in seminaries to move from Bible text/Jesus story to Sunday sermon is called principlizing. You gain an anemic principle with clickbait potential at the cost of losing the Bible. So why is it so popular? Partly because it allows the user (=preacher) to control the practical application. Do church goers understand what they’re really getting? Or do they think they are getting the Bible “straight”? What if we found ways to get from Bible to believers without slaughtering the text? (And no, the Book of Nehemia in the Old Testament is not about leadership principles. It’s way more exciting than!) The popular seminary textbook referenced in the video is “Grasping God’s Word” by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. — Parts of that book are helpful, although much of it fundamentally bypasses real hermeneutics. The inevitable consequence is the opposite of what the authors intended: Principlizing actually removes the text from the Biblical equation, instead of elucidating it. One day I’d love to sit down with them and explore their reasoning. A similar approach is Haddon Robinson’s “Big Idea” – see his “My formula for preaching” (again, very popular). Reviewers often credit him with “freeing the preacher” – I would add, “by domesticating the Bible”. After visiting over 30 accredited American seminaries, it has become quite clear that these two approaches (well, really one approach in two guises) continue to be quite popular in preaching classes. You gain a principle at the cost of losing the Bible. But you are now free to preach how you see fit, swept along by notions of Biblical authority. What’s not to love! But seriously: What if we didn’t have to lose the Bible in our attempts to gain it? If you disagree fundamentally with the video, please be in touch. I want to hear more. Want to go deeper? Check out www.warehousetheology.com

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