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#16423 - Tue Jul 20, 2004 8:16 PM Experimental Preaching Institute.  

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Deal all,

Lord willing, on Monday the 26th of July I will head down to Greenville South Carolina to attend this years Pastor's Institute. The theme of the course is "Experimental Preaching" and it is promised to be a fantastic time for learning and growth. Personally I am looking forward to studying under Dr. Joel Beeke and Dr. Joseph Pipa. If anyone is interested I will post back here when I get back the basics of the institute.

Having said that, what are your thoughts regarding experimental preaching? Does your pastor preach experimentally? Is there a healthy dose of passion and application in his preaching?

Kind regards,

Octavius
www.apcvan.ca/Jerblog

#16424 - Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:56 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute.  
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Hi Octavius,

Could you define what is meant by "experimental preaching". I'm unfamiliar with the term.

By the way, I used to live close to Greenville. It's a great place, not to small and not too big. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

John

#16425 - Wed Jul 21, 2004 7:08 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute.  
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Octavius,

There being no local church where I would feel at home, I have been listening to http://www.hnrc.org/gr/index.html and have found the preaching of Dr. Beeke a tremendous blessing. I also was greatly helped by Dr. Pipa's book 'The Lord's Day.' Will very much look forward to hearing how you enjoyed the course.
Yours in Him,
Brian.

#16426 - Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:39 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: john]  

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John,

Our web site has a little blurb on Experimental Preaching.

http://www.apcvan.ca/beeke.htm

Let me know your thoughts.

Kind regards,

Octavius

#16427 - Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:42 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Saved_n_kept]  

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No good churches in youre area! So sad. I know that Dr. Beeke has preached a few times in our Churches in Scotland. He is a GREAT preacher.

Kind regards,

Octavius
www.apcvan.ca/Jerblog

#16428 - Thu Jul 22, 2004 6:29 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute.  
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Am I off base in saying that it sounds a lot like topical preaching?

I don't mean that as a criticism, simply a question.

Andy

#16429 - Thu Jul 22, 2004 6:37 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Gileskirk]  
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Quote
ForSBCReform said:
Am I off base in saying that it sounds a lot like topical preaching?

I don't mean that as a criticism, simply a question.

Andy

Andy,

Octavius will correct me if I'm wrong, but "Experimental Preaching" may use various methods, e.g., expository, thematic, topical, doctrinal, etc. But what makes it "experimental" is that it is applied to the heart with instructions as to how to live out that particular truth which was found in God's Word. In short, to preach "experimentally" is to call for change in the life of the hearer, whether inward, outward or both.

In His Grace,


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#16430 - Thu Jul 22, 2004 7:09 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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That makes a bit more since. I have found simple topical preaching to be a scourge on the SBC and the foundation for the seeker sensitive movement within our denomination. I think that there is a place for it, but as a singular style it leaves a lot to be desired.

#16431 - Thu Jul 22, 2004 8:10 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Gileskirk]  
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ForSBCReform said:
That makes a bit more since. I have found simple topical preaching to be a scourge on the SBC and the foundation for the seeker sensitive movement within our denomination. I think that there is a place for it, but as a singular style it leaves a lot to be desired.

Actually, "Topical Preaching" is a legitimate method to make known God's truth. It simply means preaching from the various passages of Scripture that teach that specific topic. However, I believe what you are complaining about, and rightly so, is that many men are preaching "topics" and not expounding the actual texts in their respective contexts. Paul's admonition is to "preach the Word".... not some topic, which in most cases today is "moralizing".

The failure to preach "expositorily" doesn't belong only to contemporary, seeker-friendly churches. Many Dutch Reformed churches are likewise guilty, at least those who still adhere to the old tradition of preaching through the 52 Lord's Days of the Heidelberg Catechism. Instead of "moralizing" or telling funny stories, etc., they preach the Catechism, an uninspired document. I can't tell you how many ministers in those denominations I have conversed with and suggested that rather than preaching the Q & A of the Catechism, that they take one or more of the "proof-texts" that undergird them and preach from those texts; expound the Word of God. In this way, everyone not only is the purpose behind Catechetical preaching realized, but by preaching the Word of God itself, the promise of the Holy Spirit working in and through it is fulfilled and thus those who hear are blessed.

In His Grace,


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#16432 - Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:22 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute.  
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Hi Octavius,

Thanks for the link. It really helped explain the idea. Before reading the article, I was a little concerened because "experimental" seems to have a subjective connotation to it, i.e., preaching based on primarily one's experiences instead of Scripture. But, in reality that wasn't what is meant at all. Do you think that in light of today's culture, there may be a better way to refer to this style of preaching instead of experimental? I only say that because until one is given a good definition of what is meant by experimental preaching, the initial idea is probably not what is meant at all.

Anyway, I especially liked the following quote,

Quote
Preaching Christ. The experimental preaching of the Reformers and Puritans focused on preaching Christ. As Scripture clearly shows, evangelism must bear witness to the record God has given of his only begotten Son (Acts 2:3; 5:42; 8:35; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 3:1). The Puritans thus taught that any preaching in which Christ does not have the pre-eminence is not valid experiential preaching. William Perkins said that the heart of all preaching was to 'preach [only] one Christ by Christ to the praise of Christ'. According to Thomas Adams, 'Christ is the sum of the whole Bible, prophesied, typified, prefigured, exhibited, demonstrated, to be found in every leaf, almost in every line, the Scriptures being but as it were the swaddling bands of the child Jesus'. 'Think of Christ as the very substance, marrow, soul, and scope of the whole Scriptures', advised Isaac Ambrose. In this Christ-centred context, Reformed and Puritan evangelism was marked by a discriminating application of truth to experience.


Whenever I hear a sermon, the thing I look for the most is to hear about Christ (taught correctly of course). So often, nowadays, the experiential/experimental part is taught but Christ is left out. I really think that is wrong.

John

#16433 - Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:35 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I don't disagree with topical preaching as a method. I do agree that it is a legitimate method, as long as the texts are properly expounded on. My complaint is, as you said, that The Word is not actually being preached; rather moral lessons that a preacher chooses to expound upon.

I can't tell you how many Sunday mornings I have sat and listened to a preacher talk about his opinion of right and wrong with weak textual proofs, followed by imploring the non-believer to "ask Jesus into your heart" and He will fix your moral dilemma. I think it is important to have topical messages on occasion, but it must be fully supported by scripture. That is my beef with modern topical preaching.

As you have explained it, as well as other things I've read since first encountering the term experimental preaching, it seems that it is much more than the simple fluff being poured out in our churches today.

Thanks for being patient with me in my ignorance.

Andy

#16434 - Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:59 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: john]  
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Quote
Whenever I hear a sermon, the thing I look for the most is to hear about Christ (taught correctly of course). So often, nowadays, the experiential/experimental part is taught but Christ is left out. I really think that is wrong.

I'm going to stick my neck on the proverbial "chopping block" and say that it is very possible to violate Scripture by bringing Christ explicitly into every sermon.

Why? Because if we truly hold to the inspiration of the Bible, and that each and every word was written for a specific purpose, then it is actually contradictory to bring Christ into many passages of Scripture. Yes, the revelation of God is just that, it reveals "God" and His redemption in Christ. There is, however, much more to salvation than repenting of your sins and trusting in Christ unto justification. And yes, Christ Jesus is also our sanctification (1Cor 1:30) yet it is our responsibility to live out the details of what our sanctification entails. What I'm objecting to preachers who, after every sermon, regardless of the passage being preached on, if in fact they even expound a text in its proper context, will at the end of every sermon, make a call to believe on Christ in order to be saved.

There are passages of Scripture where salvation is enjoined upon unbelievers. And these, being part of the inspired biblical record, should be preached. But the majority of Scripture is directed to believers; those who have already come to Christ, having been given a new nature by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Their most pressing need is the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It is here that I think preachers need to focus their efforts; e.g., encouraging those who are discouraged, weary and beaten down from being in the world with its myriad temptation. The sheep need the whole counsel of God if they are to live a godly and balanced life.


2 Timothy 3:15-17 (KJV) "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."



It is also true that the Lord Christ is to be our example, the perfection of all that we are to be to in Whose image we are to be conformed; yea to even be partakers of the divine nature. (2Pet 1:4) Perhaps I can best illustrate my point by simply pointing to the book of Esther. One of the reasons why this particular book caused so much controversy when it came to determining which books were to be included in the Canon, was that there is no mention of God to be found in Esther. Maybe some of you were not aware of this interesting fact? So, how is one to understand that book without even the name of God being found in it? I would suggest that the author of Esther was inspired to produce a "literary painting" . . . where God is the "canvas" upon which the "colors" of the story are penned. In other words, the LORD God was behind all that happened and it was He Who was by His providence bringing all that happened to pass. In very simple terms, in the book of Esther, God is "assumed". The writer was obviously a Presuppositionalist!

To summarize, my objection is using Christ as an "addon" to satisfy a view that believe if the name of Christ isn't mentioned in every sermon, then it isn't acceptable or "Christological". I believe we should be faithful to the text and context of every passage of Scripture. And in doing so, then we are honoring God most, upholding the doctrine of divine inspiration, and allowing the Spirit to work as He should in and through the proper exposition of the Word.

In His Grace,


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#16435 - Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:15 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I have some followup on this. BTW, This is a nice thread, lots of interesting points.

Quote
Pilgrim says,
But what makes it "experimental" is that it is applied to the heart with instructions as to how to live out that particular truth which was found in God's Word.

What makes experimental different from say, expositional. Is it the call for application through specific instructions? My Pastor preaches expositionally basically by telling us - what does it say, what does it mean, how to apply it, and how to put it into practice. When he mentions on how to put it into practice, is that a form of experimental preaching. Or does experimental preaching goes beyond that?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#16436 - Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:07 PM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: John_C]  
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John: Here is a great article by A.W. Pink on this subject. This has been extremely helpful to me.
http://philologos.org/pink/1937/experimental_preaching2.htm

Dave

#16437 - Sun Jul 25, 2004 3:51 AM Re: Experimental Preaching Institute. [Re: DaveVan3]  

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Hi Dave,

Excellent article by A.W.Pink,he is as always crystal clear in his thoughts.My wife and daughters rave about his writings.I would highly recommend him to all easy to read but very challenging also.Would that such clarity was more common place than it is.

Y.B.I.C.
Duncan

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