Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Meant No Offense

So today we received a nice letter from First Pres. the church we attended last Sunday. It was very nice and Ligon Duncan even put a personal note in at the end, if I remember correctly he said something about reading the blog post. I have never written about someone and had them read it, so now I had to scramble to the computer to remember what I said. Okay, I know I would not say more but I almost feel obligated now, the sermon was very good. It was on Psalm 92, and there was plenty of application, it just, in my opinion, was not overtly a historical-redemptive sermon, the kind I have become used to from my pastors from Iowa and St. Louis. Boy do I feel like I am trying to take my foot out of my mouth. I guess this does give me and opportunity to lay out the diagnostic I use one more time.

It is three parts:

1) Is Jesus mentioned? Don't laugh you could listen to Joel Osteen for months and never hear the Lord mentioned once.

2) If He is mentioned, is He the subject of the verbs? Is He doing the acting or is He being acted upon? Does He drive the verbs?

3) If He is mentioned and is the subject of the verbs, what are those verbs? Is Jesus making you happy? Making you healthy? Making you wealthy? Or is He living a righteous life we can never live, suffering on the cross to pay for our sins and rising from the dead on the third day assuring us of eternal life?*

That's it, if the sermon you are listening to passes this little diagnostic you most definitely are listening to a Christ-centered, cross-focused sermon.

*Of course this time the attention garnered by this post makes it appear this is my diagnostic. I have posted this many times previously and this is the first time I did not give proper credit. This is a diagnostic developed by Todd Wilken and can again be heard on the Issues etc. radio show.


Andrew Barnes said...

How did it fail the diagnostic test?

I looked at his sermon manuscript and I see Christ preached and Christ + verbs throughout. Both in his Psalm 91 sermon of 6-22-08 and Psalm 92 sermon of 6-29-08. The Gospel is clearly presented in both.

Are you sure that you were paying careful attention?

So how does it fail?

Andrew Barnes said...

Oh yeah, you can remove my old blog from your list (A Submerging Church).

Alan said...

You may be correct. I was kind of distracted by the beautiful building I was actually worshiping in. Like I said overall I thought the sermon was good and I did not keep score so I may actually owe Rev. Duncan an apology.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I use the same diagnostic. We are Issues, Etc. fans. :) I saw this post referenced on Twitter today by a friend of mine. I'd love to see more Issues, Etc. fans on Twitter. Look me up, ReneeAnn, if you join.

Here's a category on my blog you might like