Tag Archives: preaching

And Some Were Persuaded

Chris Bolt has some good comments on the old canard that “conversions do not come about through argument.” To his apt observations, I would only add the following:

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, has was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. (Acts 17:1-4)

When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. (Acts 28:23-24)

Preaching instead of apologetics? No. Preaching with apologetics.

The Preacher as Second-Level Teacher

A good preacher must be a first-level teacher. That is, he must faithfully interpret the biblical text and teach his people, first, what it meant to its original audience, and second, how it applies to them today as God’s inspired and ever-relevant Word.

But that is not enough. A good preacher, I believe, must also be a second-level teacher. That is, he must also show his people, over the long haul, how to do for themselves what he regularly does for them. He must teach them how to rightly handle the word of truth; how to rightly wield the sword of the Spirit. Scripture study is not a spectator sport, after all. This second-level teaching can be accomplished directly or indirectly; the latter is more common and often more appropriate. But it must be done — and done intentionally.

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