Christianity 201

June 7, 2011

Going Deep into Depth

There are presently two strains of evangelical preaching emerging.  Some preachers prefer the “one thing” approach; providing a rhythm and cadence to their preaching which leaves their listeners remembering a clear message and a clear application.  The classic, “It’s Friday Night… But Sunday’s A-Comin'” is a message you’ve probably heard, or at least heard alluded to, that is based on this type of teaching.

The other style is the kind of message that gives you much information about context and history as well as cross-references to at least a dozen related scriptures.  There are multiple points and various information sidebars.

The problem is that sometimes the people in the second camp, feel that the people in the first camp are not giving their people enough “depth.”  This came up in the Elephant Room Conference where Steven Furtick used hyperbole to indicate the degree to which he did not want to aim for going deep on Sunday mornings.*  

And it comes up here in this exchange between John Piper and Rick Warren.   You might prefer to go direct to the YouTube page and click on some of the other subjects covered in this series.  I’m sorta hoping you will!  Some of the clips will also run in playlist form, allowing you to just sit back as the videos play in succession.

“Simple does not mean shallow.”  “Simple does not mean simplistic.”  What is deep?  Warren says he taught series on sanctification and incarnation without actually using the words; is that possible?

*For your interest, here is the discussion between Steven Furtick and Matt Chandler, moderated by James MacDonald.  It gives you some insight into how pastors wrestle with the “deep” question.