Questions Over Statements:
Let me just pose to you something and see if it changes what you think of preaching. Here goes …
If you were to go through the entire ministry and life of Jesus, and create a ratio from all of the things he said, you would come up with this: Jesus asked 4 questions for every 1 statement he made.
Think about that … that the all-knowing God and most wise King of the universe stooped down to us to ask questions. This God, who has the cleanest and clearest theology of any human, came and “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). In other words, he kept quiet at some of the most crucial moments when heresy, idiocy, and self-deception ran rampant.
Why didn’t he speak up? Why did he give parables and stories and intentionally not layout the meaning of his points? (Mt. 13:13)
Now compare this to the “preaching” of our day. Normally, preaching aims to craft a few main big ideas that are pragmatic and practical, so that everyone goes home with a filled-in outline. I’m just wondering if this is really preaching.
After all, the Bible does say that “deep are the purposes of a man’s heart, but a man of wisdom draws them out (Prov. 20:5).” Seems like the work of provoking stories and questions may accomplish a drawing out better than one-sided monologues.
Let us think together. My intent is not to under-value preaching, but to PRIZE it. I have a HUGE desire to see people internalize truth. However, what this may mean is that we have to deploy different methods in order to ensure that truth takes root in others in the same manner, and with the same strength, that it has taken hold in us.
*For further reading in the Bible: 2 Timothy 2:15; James 3:1; 1st Corinthians 2:13; 1st Corinthians 2:1 – 2:8; Matthew 13:13
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