Too often we say, “I want to make the Bible relevant.” No need. It already is. Our job is to present it in ways that help the hearer see that it is relevant—in this and in every culture. We do so by starting at their understanding and taking them to Scripture for the whole answer.
Resurgence has reposted an excellent sermon that Chris Seay preached in 2004: The Studious Saint. I have listened to this sermon on numerous occasions and have been challenged with something new each time.
I highly recommend this sermon for two primary reasons:
(1) Chris's exhortation for the church to embody wisdom is rarely heard and impossible to over-emphasize
(2) This message served as my introduction to the excellent poetry of Taylor Mali. Here is the link to the poem that Chris quotes, entitled Totally Like Whatever, You Know?
Katie and I had the privilege of spending last Sunday with the people of Oikos Fellowship in Bellingham. I have planned on writing a "review" of Oikos (similar to the 10th Ave Alliance review I wrote when Katie and I first moved here), but have been prevented from doing so on a number of occasions. For now, I will let the following comment I made to the folks at Oikos suffice for my review: If we had known about this church before we moved to Vancouver, we wouldn't have moved to Vancouver-- I would have gladly commuted to school.
In addition to the privilege of hanging out with these people (which we have done on several occasions), this time I had the distinct privilege of preaching at Oikos. It was a humbling experience for me for a million reasons-- two of which I will mention here. First, according to my notes, the last sermon I preached was October 24, 2004. It had been a long time, and I certainly felt rusty. Second, the text I was preaching (James 1.22-25) was especially humbling to me-- lest I deceive myself and think that preaching a text means that I live it.
For those who were there on Sunday-- or any others who might be interested-- I willpostposted some extra notes/quotes HERE.
(FYI- for all my trash talking about the length of Pete's sermons, I clocked in at just under 48 minutes!)
Spurgeon arranged the text and his sermon around the theme "Two Sorts of Hearers." Spurgeon refers to these two types of hearers as the blessed and unblessed. Some of my favorite portions of his sermon are quoted below.