Friday, May 4, 2012

Paying for a sermon?!?

I subscribe to all kinds of email lists. I certainly do not check or read them all the emails I get from these lists - in fact most of them end up deleted without a second glance ... But every now and then if something catches my eye and I have a little extra time, then glancing through an email does at times results in some helpful information

One list I subscribe to is Christianity Today's

I wonder, is it just me who is rather disturbed that it is a site that charges money to listen / read good sermons?

The email heading caught my attention:

The Good Samaritan Like You've Never Heard It: Preaching Today

So I thought, hmmm... interesting ...

And then even more interesting was the first line after the date

Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Featured sermon: The Parable of the Good Samaritan, by D. A. Carson

I know DA Carson is an excellent expository preacher

So I click on the link ...

And this is what comes up ...


The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Are you seeking self-justification or God's justification?
Average Rating:   [see ratings/reviews]
Audio Sample: 
Read Full Transcript


I. The story as a whole

II. The first question: What must I do to inherit eternal life?

III. The struggle for self-justification

IV. The second question: Who is my neighbor?

V. Jesus' question: To whom must I be a neighbor?


D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and author of numerous books, including Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus(Crossway).
D. A. Carson: Follow | Search

Ok. Nice ... but then this ...

To access this sermon, you must be a member of
If you ARE a member of, please log in …
If you are NOT a member of …
Please click here to see our membership options. As a member, you will be able to have access to all of the content on

And this .... Membership Options

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I know we all have to make a living. I know publishers sell books containing sermons, and outlines, and illustrations.
BUT isn't this a little bit overboard? 
I also realize that a sister website sells Bible studies!

Would I buy a book of collected sermons? Oh yes I would and have if I think the preacher is going to bless and inspire me. My favourite book of sermons is the "Best of Peter Marshall".
And commentary series like the BST are in a real way expository sermons. 

Would I buy a book on sermon outlines? Oh yes and I have. My favourite is Warren Wiersbe's Outlines on the OT. Helpful to inspire me and kick start some of my sermons when I have mental blocks

And would I buy a Bible study book / guide (ok so I am off on a tangent - but that is just me :-). Oh yes, most of us use them for group Bible studies.

Ok, perhaps I am being unfair as I do remember buying audio cassettes of sermons, and later with advancing technology, teaching CDs and /or DVDs on particular topics.
Maybe I just got to get used to the idea of purchasing stuff using this even more advanced level of technology - internet downloads ...

And again maybe it is just an issue of "value for money" for me - one of the foremost frugal pastors :-) Paying USD 7.95 for a sermon seems plain ridiculous

But then again perhaps that's the whole point! Good marketing? Why pay $7.95 for one sermon when you can pay $9.95 a month for a thousand sermons and many other goodies, or better still $69.95 a year? 

Will I pay to sign up? NO :-)

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