The Fundy Kerfuffle Part 2

I have heard and experienced enough of one brand of fundamentalism to know that I am not exaggerating when I say that much of the preaching is absolutely horrid.  There is a lot of good oration and fabulous story-telling, but that is not Biblical preaching.  The young and restless fundamentalists are not restless because we have been influenced by certain high-profile evangelicals who happen to be Calvinists, but many of the young are starving for someone to feed them with accurate, clear, historical, passionate, expositional preaching.  We want preaching that derives its point from the text not uses the text to prove its point.  We want preaching that directs its hearers to Jesus Christ, not to all that is right with man or all that is wrong with man.  We want preaching that is grace saturated, and rings of truth because it is simply what the text says-nothing less, nothing more.  We are not restless because we are enamored with John Piper or John MacArthur and their “Calvinism.”  We are restless because for many of us, we have not heard much genuine, Biblical exposition of the Word of God for a long time and we hear it in those men.  We don’t want three points and a poem! We don’t care about outline and style.  We aren’t impressed with rants and foaming at the mouth.  That is not preaching anyway (although sadly, that is what the word has come to imply).  We would see Jesus in the Text!  Show us the Living Word!  Preaching is more than speaking truth. . . preaching is exposing God’s Truth within its context and leading the listeners to side of Christ where we joy and delight in the glory of God.  We do not have the mount of transfiguration where we might glimpse the glory of God with Peter, James, and John.  We do not have mount Sinai where we might plead along with Moses “Show me Thy glory.”  However, we do have a more certain Word of Prophecy-the text of God’s Word.  If I stand in the pulpit on Sunday and tell the people good things, moral things, even godly things, but I do not lead them closer to the throne of God where they might behold His glory, I have not been obedient to the Inspired Words of God through Paul, “Preach the Word!”  Preaching is a spiritual discipline which couples exposing and proclaiming spiritual truth along with glorying  and delighting in God.

I love my alma mater, but I still cringe when I think back to some of the “preachers” we endured in chapel.  I loved going to camp as a kid, but I get visibly upset when I recall the nonsense that passed for Biblical preaching in that little chapel.  If fundamentalism is to endure, it will only be if we cease to tolerate motivational talks, man-centered shouting, and issue-directed proof texting that masquerades as preaching the Word. God give me grace, that I might rightly preach the Word.

(note* Please note that I am speaking of one brand withing fundamentalism.  I do believe there are many excellent expositional preachers within fundamentalism.  Sadly, the other brand seems to project itself louder and more forcefully than other portions within the historical movement and idea of fundamentalism).




  1. Ben McDonald said:

    Matt give me an example of what you were upset about in that little chapel, I might agree

    September 21, 2009
  2. Ben,
    I hope that I can answer that while dealing with the issues and not attacking any persons. Personally, I cannot rember who the speakers were, but I do remember hearing a steady diet of why it is sin for women to put on a pair of pants, why rock music is the devil’s best kept secret and fantastic story after story that is so amazing that I got “saved” almost every year. I remember the pressure to “go forward” which sadly usually did not mean (at least with me and others I have talked to) lasting growth in grace, but rather an emotional decision to be “better.” It would have been much better, in my opinion, to preach a week of messages through I John where we could learn in the context of the Word what it means to have a real, lasting relationship with God and others. I guess the main thing is preaching that is all about “teens” issues instead of teaching about Christ and his glory and grace, mercy and justice, wrath and righteousness. I guess I didn’t hear a lot of preaching like I posted about in the last several posts.

    Good things being preached without the immediate context of Scripture is still bad preaching.

    September 21, 2009

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