Solo preaching - a pagan practice?

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panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
Reading this blog post - saw this:

Consider preaching, for example, which they essay to dismantle in a chapter subtitled “Protestantism’s Most Sacred Cow.” It is their thesis (see also here) that preaching in the New Testament is sporadic, delivered on special occasions to deal with special problems, extemporaneous and without rhetorical structure, and most often dialogical rather than monological–it was two-way, not one-way. What we think of as the “Christian” sermon came out of Greek Sophist practice. Its entry into the church was “the arrival of a polluted stream.”

(Perhaps ironically, my first encounter with this view of New Testament preaching practice came less than a week before I read it in this book, on links from this page at Facing the Challenge blog.)

Viola and Barna think sermonizing positively harms the church; for example:

* It makes the preacher the “virtuoso performer,” so that congregational participation is “hampered at best and precluded at worst.”
* It often stalemates spiritual growth; because it is a one-way affair, it encourages passivity.
* It preserves an unbiblical “clergy mentality,” discussed in a prior chapter.
* Rather than equipping the saints, it de-skills them.
* It is often impractical: “Countless preachers speak as experts on that which they have never experienced…. In this regard, the sermon mirrors its true father–Greco-Roman rhetoric…. bathed in abstraction.”

The author later posts:

For all my questions about its educational validity, I’ve concluded that preaching remains vital for communicating the centrality (and even the authority) of God’s word to God’s people. Still, the more interactive learning that churches practice, the happier I will be about it.

Thought some might find this...thought provoking...:think:

Please, discuss amongst yourselves! :D
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The life of the congregation far exceeds the times of public worship on the Lord's day. A sound preacher learns people's spiritual needs by conversing with them about the things of God, and forms his sermons accordingly. Hence the sermon is effectively a dialogue.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
The life of the congregation far exceeds the times of public worship on the Lord's day. A sound preacher learns people's spiritual needs by conversing with them about the things of God, and forms his sermons accordingly. Hence the sermon is effectively a dialogue.

Not to mention the fact that Scripture commands preachers to preach. It is God's ordained means of spreading the message of salvation and of living the Christian life.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
What is preaching? And what is the difference between preaching, teaching, evangelism, sharing and telling, proclaiming, etc?

Many of the Puritans equated evangelism with preaching and some almost seemed to make the two terms the same. If this were true than laymen and women could not evangelize because preaching was the way one did evangelism.



I preached at a church that had question and answer sessions after each sermon...really seemed to be a great practice.


Can a congregation engage in discussion times? How?
 

calgal

Puritan Board Graduate
I did some reading and came across this gentleman. Apparently Mr Viola is a "home church" kind of guy and thinks everything churches do is pagan. :barfy: Harold Camping would be proud. :worms:
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
The puritans equated evangelism with preaching because they believed (so do I) that preaching is evangelism which is the preaching of the WHOLE counsel of God. When we preach we evangelise both the unregenerate and the regenerate in the pews... We call the unrepentant to call on the name of the Lord and we call the repentant the continue to call on the name of the Lord... When we teach the WHOLE counsel of God, every Jot and Tittle of the Word we are performing evangelism at its best. Repentants is an ongoing activity and is not just a once in time moment.. We as believers must continue to be santified and grow in the faith and repent of our sins daily and be fed by the Word...

What does this mean for the laymen?

How about "Give the reason for the faith that is within you", or "Be Salt, Be Light Unto the World", or "having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation." or "Pray fervently"

Or other passages that deal with evangelism for the laymen and woman...

Many of the Puritans equated evangelism with preaching and some almost seemed to make the two terms the same. If this were true than laymen and women could not evangelize because preaching was the way one did evangelism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
But isn't evangelism far broader than the one method of evangelism - preaching.


Giving a reason for the hope, praying, etc, these are all evangelism as well, but are not preaching.

Preaching is one method of evangelism but is not evangelism en toto.
 

2 Tim 4:2

Puritan Board Freshman
It appears Barna has spent way to much time usinf secular means of measurment of the church that it has infected his mind to this depravity.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm not surprised. Ever since Barna's Revolution, he has been banging the drum for the house church movement. Frankly, it reminded me of a little boy who was feeling guilty because he was doing something he knew was wrong decided to create an elaborate justification of it. This book sounds like another step down the same road. Demographers and pollsters can be helpful. However, the temptation to move from "is" to "should" seems irresistible for Barna. Capturing a snapshot of one small slice of today and transforming it into a 360 degree panoramamic view of tomorrow seems a flawed methodology in photography and ecclesiology.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
It appears Barna has spent way to much time usinf secular means of measurment of the church that it has infected his mind to this depravity.

Barna has jumped on board the house church movement. The book that the quote in the OP was probably taken from basically says that the most of our practices are pagan or Romanist in origin.

John Zens weighs in as well on that blog post. He was one of the early NCT advocates and is another "drum banger" for the house church movement.

The house church movement typically rejects ordained leadership.
 
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