Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dispensational Theology

I had hoped to preach next Sunday on Dispensational Theology, but I think I'm going to find a different topic. In the first place, it will take at least 2 sermons to do a minimal introduction, and my next scheduled sermon after August 27th is in December (which is too long between messages for a 2 parter).

But the main reason is that I'm just not ready to preach on this topic. I've been studying, reading and thinking, but I'm not there yet. I could preach a sermon or two, and I am fairly confident of my material, but there is a lot to it and I want to make sure I really understand some of the more technical details (even if they will not come out in my sermons). For example I want to read the major proponent of "Progressive Dispensationalism" rather than just reading what others say about him. I do not hold to Progressive Dispensationalism, but I want to make sure I understand the details before I present the basics in my sermon. There are also matters like the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, the basis for salvation in Old Testament times, Covenant Theology and some specialized aspects of Hermeneutics.

A Sunday morning sermon is not a lecture in a seminary. It is not a debate in academic circles. It is not a paper in a theological journal. It is a decisive thrust of the sword of the spirit for the accomplishing of a specific purpose. A Sunday morning sermon will not go into all the pros and cons of each point, but the one who is preaching the sermon should be aware of a lot of details that don't make it into the sermon. I've commented in the past that one of the men at our church has been able to successfully navigate minefields in his sermons. If you are aware of the theological issues you can tell where he is choosing his words carefully. All the details of the theological issues don't come out in his sermons, but you can tell he is treading carefully rather than blundering around in matters his doesn't understand. And I hope to do the same for my sermons on Dispensationalism... but not this coming Sunday.


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