Be More Practical 1

I have been thinking about the age old stand off in preaching/seminary/pastor talk type circles between exegesis and application.  Basically it goes like this “the people” are always wanting the sermons to be more practical/more application, whilst the pastor-types are always bemoaning the fact that there is not enough exegesis.  Before people can know what to do, they need to know what they believe and why.

I happen to think that both of them have a point…

and that neither of them have a point…

What are people’s problems with application:

1) In most teaching the applications are

a) non-existent

b) the same every week

c) related only to spiritual things or church matters

d) too general

e) and fail to get to the heart issues.

2) They do not want to do the hard thinking/meditating/reflecting together on the biblical passage but instead expect the professional to “tell them what to do”.

Why does the teacher want more exegesis?

a)  Good exegesis should lead to good application – the Bible is a profoundly practical book (admittedly that is not mostly how we portray it)

b) Most people do not know what they believe or what the Bible teaches yet they want to know what to do. But action always flows from understanding.

c) There is a lot of “practical teaching” today that is in fact, shallow, fluffy and lacking in Biblical integrity

d) Often people are looking for a 3-step solution to say sexual temptation, the Bible does not work like that.

e) Exegesis is easy compared to contextual and pointed application


~ by John on September 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “Be More Practical 1”

  1. Exegesis gave me a glimse into God’s mind. I know that can also happen by merely reading the Bible, but exegesis help me understand the BIG PICTURE. My faith grows from it. The stronger your faith the easier it becomes to apply God’s Word to everyday situations. This does not happen over night, but if i have to choose again, it will be exegesis.

  2. My point is that we should not have to choose – good exegesis is intensely practical otherwise we miss the purpose of the original writers and of God’s design in Scripture. And good application must be rooted in good exegesis otherwise at best it is moralism at worse it is superficial wishful thinking fluff.

    More in the next post though…

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