Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Darryl Dash

Review: Ordinary Preacher by Darryl Dash

Overview

Darryl Dash is one of my close friends in ministry here in Toronto. Knowing someone can make you either want to read what they write or not want to read what they write.

So when Darryl’s new e-book came out yesterday, I made sure to read it through, the first chance I got. Knowing Darryl, I wanted to read his thoughts on preaching.

The book itself is short. And frankly, that’s refreshing. Though there are 28 chapters, none are more than a few pages. Each chapter is concise, contains a single thought, and engages the reader well. Much of what you will find are lessons that Darryl has learned from authors, teachers, and preachers from whom he has learned. He is sharing with us what he has gleaned from years of study.

Ordinary Preacher is divided up into six decidedly uneven main sections: Fundamentals, Planning, Preparation, Application, Delivery, and Final Thoughts. Most of the content of the book is found in the Planning, Preparation, and Final Thoughts, with less space devoted to Application and Delivery.

Continue reading

The ‘New’ Calvinism: Stupid, Salvation, or Save-able?

It is interesting to me that there in the last couple of weeks I have happened across several different takes on what is commonly being called ‘the New Calvinism’. The range in perspectives has been interesting to observe.

In one article, David Fitch suggests that the New Calvinism is perhaps nothing more than a new fundamentalism. It’s a place where people who think alike (and who alike think they alone know truth) can gather to feel safe as they exclude others in their arrogance. If this is true, the New Calvinism is stupid. Fitch doesn’t say that, but if that is what the movement amounts to, then it’s the obvious conclusion.

Another writer, Craig Carter, suggests that the New Calvinism is the best kind of theology, most ‘capable of sustaining a vigorous Evangelicalism’ over the long haul, preventing an evangelical slide back into liberalism. At the January Theology Pub here in Toronto, Dr Carter will lead a discussion with the heading, ‘Why the Young, Restless and Reformed will Save Evangelicalism in the Next Few Decades. From that view, the New Calvinism sounds like salvation (at least for evangelicalism).

Somewhere in the middle of those two positions, I think, lies two particularly helpful cautions. One is the video I recently posted, where John Piper warns the New Calvinists about ‘dangling, unconnected wires’ in their lives which hang between doctrine and practice, between the sovereignty being preached and the sanctification of those preaching (see the video here). Piper reminds the young Calvinists that while their ‘movement’ has the potential to do great things, if their practice doesn’t match their preaching, the whole movement will fall apart.

Just this morning I read a brilliant little article on a similar vein from Tony Reinke, called Young, Restless, Reformed, and Humbled. There we are reminded of the absolute necessity of humility (especially!) in those who claim to be Calvinists of any sort. To believe in the doctrines of grace, but not be humbled by them and your ability to live them is profoundly inconsistent. Reinke writes, ‘First, look at the depth of your theological convictions. Thank God for that–it’s a gift. Second, compare those convictions with the shallow daily decisions that are made totally uninfluenced by them.’

What I appreciate in what both Piper and Reinke are saying is this: The movement in and of itself is nothing; but it may be something, if we let the gospel do its full-orbed work of changing us from the inside out. If we are changed by what we preach and live like what we preach is really true, then maybe this movement is save-able. Maybe God really will use it to do great things for his great name in our day, in our part of this world.

That’s my hope, anyway.

Preaching God

 

Toronto Pastors Fellowship

Pastors Delighting in God to the Glory of God Together

This coming Monday is the final monthly meeting of the Toronto Pastors Fellowship for the 2008-2009 season. While I’m sad that it will be over for the next several months, I can’t wait for Monday to come, because the paper will be great!

I’ve just had a chance to read over Pastor Darryl Dash’s paper on theocentric preaching; it is full of insights, challenges, and encouragements.

Here is a brief preview to whet your appetite for Monday’s meeting. In this section, Dr Dash is detailing the pitfalls and flaws of moralistic preaching, and showing how even sermons that are textually based may be ultimately moralistic.

In Scripture, obedience is always a response to the gospel. Application that is not rooted in gospel leads to pride if the listener succeeds, and defeatism if the listener does not. The law does not give us power to obey its commands; we need good news (the gospel), not just good advice. The Bible does contain commands, but these are always applications of the gospel.

Moralism can creep into how-to sermons (e.g. “Four Steps to Better Parenting”), but it can also creep into expositions of a text. For example, preaching the imperatives of Ephesians 4-6 will be moralistic unless we link the imperatives to the gospel described in Ephesians 1-3. God’s gift and his commands (theology and ethics) are always linked.

Make sure to join us on Monday morning at 10am to get the full paper, the Q&A, and all the blessings of fellowship. 

See you there!

© 2017 Julian Freeman

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑