Discriminatory Preaching

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by scottmaciver, Aug 29, 2017.

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  1. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Sophomore

    How does a preacher find the balance between on the one hand not discouraging the troubled & tried believer & on the other hand not encouraging the hypocrite?

    Richard Baxter said, "ministers should be spiritual physicians & you must not apply the wrong medication to your partitioners, so that you don't become a murderer of souls."

    Thoughts appreciated...
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I assume the context of discriminatory preaching is as discussed here:

    "Experimental preaching must in the first place be discriminatory preaching. Discriminatory preaching defines the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. Discriminatory preaching is the key by which the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers. Discriminatory preaching promises the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who by a true faith embrace Christ as Savior and Lord; it likewise proclaims the wrath of God and eternal condemnation as God's judgment upon the unbelieving, unrepentant, and unconverted. Such preaching teaches us that unless our religion be experiential, we shall perish-not because experience itself saves, but because the Christ who saves sinners must be experienced personally as the rock upon which the house of our eternal hope is built (Matthew 7:22-27; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2)."

  3. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Sophomore

    That's an excellent definition, yes.
  4. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    At the suggestion of Sinclair Ferguson, I developed a rubric for sermon applications that keeps me balanced.
  5. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Perkins' model (The Art of Faithful Preaching) is the model of the experimental preacher.

    Open the Text
    Pull a Doctrine from the Text
    Apply the Text

    Problem is, the minister must be sensitive to the needs of the congregation in preaching any text.
  6. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Here's a huge benefit of sequential exposition through a biblical book: if the preacher is doing good work with the Text --living with it in prayerful exegesis and study, and letting it do its work in his own soul -- he'll consistently have things to address every class of hearer, because he'll have seen how the Text confronts various sins (both his own, and his church's), calls them to the obedience of faith, comforts by the grace of the Cross, counsels with God's wisdom, and conforms them to Christ.

    It's an utterly beautiful thing to watch.
  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    This is one reason pastors do personal counselling. You learn what struggles people face and what they need to hear.

    Also, from the pew-sitter perspective, I've always appreciated it when preachers simply say, "Now, if you are inclined to get legalistic or be discouraged, then you need to hear that ---------------. But if you're inclined to take God's law lightly, then you need to hear that ----------------." You can go ahead and be upfront about how it's hard to know exactly what each individual needs to hear, and ask the congregation to do some self-diagnosis and apply the part of the sermon they most need to hear.
  8. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    Sounds like a problem that can be especially hard with a mixed congregation, which I assume is most if not all.
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