Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Twitter is an idol

Just recently I saw a great articles labeled iphone, ipad, idol -  apart from being witty it was pretty much right on.
It got me thinking when on the evening news there was a piece about twitter. If you reflect upon it, twitter is all about me. People tweet their latest irrelevancy, what I am eating, what I am doing this instant, where I am going, who I am meeting, my observation of some item of culture or news or fad or point of view in less than 140 characters.

In that sense alone it is an idol because that idol is ME.

Now perhaps people are looking for intimacy, for connection on a relational level. But twitter doesn't promote it because it is a one sided conversation - it is "one hand clapping" because it doesn't allow for interaction, it doesn't allow for another person to respond. At least in a blog people can comment and you can enter into a dialogue with them.

However, there's another reason that Twitter is an idol and that is very intimately tied to the medium. It is because Twitter, being limited to 140 characters, and being used by so many people to post unconnected irrelevancies that it provides no context in which to understand the person making them. You would need a person to post minute by minute their life and You, yes You would have to read them just to get a bit of the context of their life and experiences so that you would get some meaningful context for what is being said.
In the end, who is going to read such a one sided monologue with a twit on the other end :)

Now of course you could say that you already know the person however much of the tweets people love to receive are of people that they actually don't know all that well.

So let me encourage you, sit down have a coffee and talk together. Ask them something about them, instead of focusing on hearing your own voice. You will gain so much more from being other person centred.

In Christ,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Mark Driscoll prepares his sermons is not something a pastor would want to emulate

Over at Sermon Central is the summary of Mark Drsicoll's facebook chat about Preaching and his Q & A. I hope pastors would be a little wary of trying to imitate Mark.
Mark Driscoll begins his discussion by admitting that his approach is both unorthodox and not something that others should copy. One asks then what is the benefit of talking then about his method? If it is merely to engage others and discuss helpful insights, OK, but he does spend a lot emphasizing speech and 10000 hours of preaching.

His first disclaimer is that the Bible speaks very little on preaching, however that is not helpful at all in that what it does tell us is very instructive for our preaching and is adequate to know what things are central in Preaching.

You can read volumes on Preaching and it’s basis in Scripture.

When someone says this we need to take a second look and see what Scripture says on this matter. It tells us from the OT for example that the Scribes read the Word and gave it’s sense to their hearers. Too little is said in this “discussion” regarding 1. That we are called to faithful teach the Scriptures and 2. Preachers model to the flock by their preaching how to interpret God’s Word and then apply it.

Mark talks about how his early preaching was terrible, but to say pragmatically that if you get to 10000 hours of preaching you will be quite better misses the point. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a better preacher, that is, one faithful to the Word, it just means you’ll be a better speaker, more comfortable with your “presentation.” But our calling is to faithfully and accurately divide the word and declare its sense so that people may apply it to their lives.

Mark has a degree in speech and there is no doubt he is a good speaker and captivating communicator but that does not mean he is necessarily a good exegete making clear the Scriptures and applying them to his hearers. I remember his sermon on worship from the book of Revelation chapter 5 where he is novel in his interpretation and not consistent with the text. Doesn’t he realize in his preaching he models for the flock his method of interpreting and applying the Scripture? This is a serious and lofty calling, to preach the Word of God.

Does that mean we always get it right? No, but because we are accountable to the Lord we deal carefully with the Word of God and secondly, being accountable to the flock including the elders we are able to be corrected and come back to the flock to say I was wrong at this point, or need clarification what I was trying to say.

And what does it say of your regard to the flock when we hear you say all my early sermons were terrible until I got my hours up? If you mean your delivery was painful, ok, but surely Mark you are not suggesting that your exposition of the text was wrong.

Be aware my friends of these things and don’t treat such comments lightly. You just cannot equate prep time with the amount of time you spend preaching it. No matter how many books you read or write. Now we may be too harsh at this point, after all he did say “for various projects ( perhaps we should understand here ‘sermon series’ ) I am reading and studying all the time” which implies sermon preparation is actually longer than the one hour or so he starts off mentioning. If this is so, then we need to understand, that this time of study is actually part of the prep time for a sermon.

I do hope at this point he also means he is considering the passage in context and doctrinally as well as considering the original languages and what they point out.

In this case preparation for most preachers just cannot be done by most people in about an hour no matter if they have a photographic memory or not.

Just a few thoughts to ponder

In Christ,


Friday, November 4, 2011

Shane Hipps don't think much about hell either

I am so glad Shane Hipps is not my teaching pastor!
He is Rob Bell's replacement at Mar's Hill but his understanding on Hell shows no Biblical understanding at all.

His "argument" is predicated on truth being what someone experiences. perhaps he is a poached egg but hasn't experienced it yet.

What these guys so blatently neglect is the Authority of God's Word the Bible. They want to pick and choose what suits their Reason, but they fail to see that it is only in the Scriptures that we are told to trust that Jesus' death on the cross makes you rught with God.