Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Unbiblical Position Against Application in Preaching

There are those who believe it is selfish to look for or demand personal application to be given, sought for, or received in preaching.  Really.  On a number of occasions I was charged with watering down the message of the Scripture simply because I applied the text to the lives of my congregation.  I was told that I must "preach Christ" and that meant no applications.

Those who attacked my preaching were students of man, who, on one occasion, stated these points in a sermon of his own - 

"But where is your application, you ask?  Did you miss it?  Did you not sense the invitation of the Holy Spirit to feel the power of the Pauline theology?  Have you been so conditioned by modern preaching that you cannot find your life in the text of the Word of God?  Have you been so conditioned by the demand to extract something from the Scriptures for yourself (how selfish that is!  how completely self-centered and man-centered that is!) that you cannot find your life in the text of the Word of God?  Have you been so conditioned by contemporary self centered, man-centered preaching that it is not Christ in whom you find your life, but in the program, in the agenda, in the activity - or whatever else is placed as a barrier to a Christocentric realization of the Word of God."

Carrick attacks this, and does so quite well - "The antithesis that is posited in the above extracts between God-centredness and morality or behavior is, we believe, unquestionably a false antithesis.  It is a false antithesis that sets up a false dichotomy.  It is abundantly evident from 'the Pauline theology' itself that theocentricity and Christocentricity do not exclude the addressing of issues of morality or behavior." - IP, p133.

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