Reformed Baptist Fellowship

By Pastor Tom Lyon of Providence Reformed Baptist Church of University Place,Washington

Preaching has fallen on hard times. The great Protestant Reformer, John Calvin, wrote: “At the present day there are many who are well-nigh sickened by the very name of preaching, because there are so many stupid, ignorant men who blurt out their worthless brain waves from the pulpit.” That was 450 years ago! Today not only has preaching been decentralized, but the greater part of what is called “preaching” no longer deserves to be at the center. This has created a vacuum and few have raised a voice while a Pandora’s Box of replacements has rushed in to fill the void.”

A.W. Tozer said of the danger: “One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity in evangelical circles, is the notion that as times change…

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

7 thoughts on “”

  1. Bryan,
    Thanks for posting this – I appreciate the opportunity to read it. I agree with Pastor Lyon on the issue of the centrality of preaching and with his critique of what often passes for or stands in the place of preaching. However, I think he misses the mark on the area of contextualization. Preaching is never done in a vacuum but always has a context which often affects how the truth is preached. You can see this in the preaching of Paul in Acts – he rehearses redemptive history when speaking with Jews (Acts 13) but takes a completely different approach when preaching to pagan philosophers (Acts 17). I do not preach the same way to the teenagers of our church as I do when I preach to the men of our presbytery. Pastor Lyon also contextualizes in his situation, otherwise people would not be able to understand him. When contextualization blunts the truth that is obviously a problem. But, again, contextualization always takes place because there is always a context.
    However, it was an article worth posting and worth reading.
    Thanks again.

    1. You’re welcome John. I agree with your point on “contextualization”, I don’t think the article is meant to nullify it (or even cover it). Pastor Lyon was focusing on the the primary Sunday morning sermon, where the pastor has his only opportunity to preach to the whole congregation a Christ-centered, Word-saturated gospel. If shepherds forfeit that great privelege for pop psych moralisms and motivational “talks” then the pulpit is in a tragic state indeed.

      Thanks for reading and the great comment.

  2. “Many a preacher has been warned about preaching over the people’s heads. I ask, ‘What are people’s heads for? God Almighty gave them those heads and I think they ought to use them!’ As a preacher, I deny that any of the truths of God are over the heads of the people. I deny it!” (A.W. Tozer)

    Uh-huh…along with this is the fact that so many people don’t want to hear the truth! They go to church expecting to be lifted up and made to feel better about themselves. That is not what church is for! If you never hear anything you don’t like, you are never offended at all…you are not hearing the true Word of God preached.

    Thanks for posting this Bryan.

  3. Such an important article. Thank you so much for posting it. A very thoughtful critique of both the modern church and what too often passes for preaching in it.

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