Monday, April 20, 2009

Ramblings on Kiwi made preaching forum - 2

The opening address by Paul Windsor was entitled "Preaching within the borders of the book of Acts"

Like I mentioned in my first post on this topic, it was an excellent presentation. Wish he had more time. Basically he highlighted the fact that it is very unfortunate that too many people have accepted CH Dodd's oft quoted words (which is simply wrong) that "The New Testament draws a clear distinction between teaching and preaching ...teaching (didaskein) is in a large majority of cases ethical instruction (while) preaching (keryssein) is public proclamation of Christianity to the non-Christian world."

He went on to show how other scholars have shown that there were numerous "speaking" words of great variety in the NT which related to preaching. Kittel in TDNT for example mentions 33 words!

I thought the quote from Peter Adam (first time I have heard this scholars name and I will now pay special attention whenever I do hear his name) was really enlightening (and very encouraging as well) to me.

From his handout ....

In reality, in the New Testament we find "many different ministries of the Word." [Peter Adam, Speaking God's Words (IVP, 1996) 75].

There are (a) words of information: teach, instruct, point out, make known,. remind; (b) words of declaration: preach, proclaim, cry out, testify, bear witness, declare, write, read, pass on, set forth; (c) words of exhortation: call, denounce, warn, rebuke, command, give judgment, encourage, appeal, urge, ask; (d) words of persuasion: explain, make clear, prove, guard, debate, contend, refute, reason, persuade, convince, insist, defend, confirm, stress; and (e) words of conversation: say, speak, talks, answer, reply, give answer.

Rather than exclusivist or reductionist, we have something akin to the Olympic Rings - with more circles and more overlaps, creating a larger total space -

What I also liked was his pasting of a hand written note by a NT colleague. I have scanned in the note as I thought it added a nice personal touch

Again from his handout ...

a specific example Acts 17: 2-4 (Thessalonica)

[courtesy of a hand-written note to me from Dr Murray Harris when in Wanaka]
While no specific conversion stories survive from Thessalonica, what we find embedded in this story is a summary of Paul's evangelism as expressed through six verbs...

I found his 20 minute talk very liberating as I have always struggled with this false dichotomy of preaching and teaching. I have known for a long time that I am a teacher (due to feedback and the exhilaration I feel when I teach) but have wondered about whether I am a preacher. But over the last 4 or 5 years I have had a lot of feedback that realized that I am a "good" preacher but often with the caveat that I tend to do more teaching than preaching. Which is at times a little confusing. Though I must say that this kind of "qualification" tends to be made by "older Christians" or people who have done some reading on preaching :-) not the man in the street.

Then of course there is the "confusion" or more accurately in my thinking the "discomfort" felt when I teach or preach using a non conservative style. Some who have this "discomfort" if pushed would grudgingly admit things like "it was good" or "interesting" but not really true teaching or preaching. :-) And I am not even talking of stuff like drama, skits or "magic" :-) I am just talking about the "use of words".

Lots of food for thought ....

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