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What’s wrong with today’s preaching – a poem

Together with this hymn, this is what really depresses me about the manner and method of today's 'conservative evangelical' preaching.  As for the content... that's what the rest of the blog is about...

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“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture,” he loudly proclaims
“Our rule and our guide, Our fount and our frame.
We stand on the bible, for better, for worse
But let me give vent to my own bluster first.”

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, so let me digress –
To warn you of others who do not confess
Our creed guaranteed to produce a revival:
We are the ones who honour the bible.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, though some shun our scheme
Daring to preach on one verse, or a theme!
I really must warn you about all our rivals,
And then I will ask you to take up your bibles.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, and so I rehearse
Our constant insistence on verse by verse.
Methodical, logical, slowly proceeding,
This is our system, now, what was our reading?

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, but don’t be naive,
The troubles with preaching you would not believe.
We must invest time in Corinthian Gnostics,
The value of genre and Hebrew acrostics.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, a difficult book,
But do not despair, to me you can look.
The dirty great chasm between then and now
Is bridg’d by my painstaking, expert know-how.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, The clock is against us!
I fear that I shan’t do this passage its justice.
We’ve only got time for a mere  bible dip,
Yet before we explore – a joke and a quip.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, but first let me quote
From Shakespeare and Churchill, a drole anecdote,
My children’s exploits and the signs of the times,
The state of the church, and, my, how time flies!

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, just time for essentials,
But, wait, have I listed my many credentials?
My friends in high places, the people I meet,
The man I converted in the aeroplane seat?

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, although it’s a drag
I’ll lighten the tone with a mother-in-law gag.
And stories I’ve stolen from preachers at will.
Consider it sugar to sweeten the pill.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, though sixty six books –
This story of glory’s more plain than it looks.
Distilling its filling through splendid oration,
You’ll see it boils down to this fine illustration.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, the detail’s not vital,
I’ve spent all my time on a memorable title
And quaint turns of phrase that will please only me,
And predictable points beginning with ‘P’.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, my time is now through,
My pithy summation will just have to do.
You guessed it the moment my sermon began:
The Lord is the Boss, now submit to His plan.

“Tis Scripture, Tis Scripture, And now let us pray,
‘I thank You my Father You made me this way,
Not like all those others about which we’ve heard
For I am the preacher who honours Your word.’”

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10 thoughts on “What’s wrong with today’s preaching – a poem

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What’s wrong with today’s preaching – a poem « Christ the Truth -- Topsy.com

  2. Rich Owen

    Bitter sweet.

    Did you write it, Glen?

    If you did, you ought to claim it as your own - it's very good. If you nicked it from someone else, then... I guess I ought to...

    "Consider it sugar to sweeten the pill"

  3. Tim C

    Very provocative -- and very clever!! :-) Ties in very well with some of my own thoughts regarding expositional preaching.

    That said, I think we have quite a few good guys who are already doing this: http://adrianwarnock.com/2009/03/preach-to-change-them-in-their-seats/ ...but Keller has certainly caught people's attention and influenced the general direction of expositional preaching in a good way so that gospel-driven, christ-centred preaching is becoming more the rule rather than the exception amongst conservative types...

  4. pgjackson

    I humbly offer an addition:

    Tis scripture, Tis scripture, a book of two parts
    And therein lies danger for young Christian hearts
    So let me make simple the bible for you
    Neglecting the old, I’ll preach just the new

  5. Glen

    Hi Rich, I wrote it, but free to use it in a sermon - it might lighten all that dense bible stuff you preach.

    Tim C - I hope you're right. I'd like to think a new generation are moving away from that kinda stuff.

    Marc - me too!

    Otepoti - There is certainly a danger of stone-throwing here (and I am not at all without sin in these matters!), but Romans 14 doesn't mean you can never have a go at (for instance) new-moon devotees (Col 2:16ff). Get well soon!

    Pete - very good. There's a certain brand of preacher who uses "New Testament Christianity" as synonymous for "the real, essential meat and marrow of Christianity". [shudder!]

  6. CheekyMonkey

    Tis scripture, Tis scripture, or a moral attack,
    This is how we do business when you answer back,
    I start at the fall, because the mind can't see other,
    Can't you just talk about Jesus instead of his mother?

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