Moralism vs. Christ-Centered Exposition
March 16, 2008
This article by Tim Keller explains much about why I preach the way I do. I fear that most evangelicals hear therapeutic moralism on Sundays rather than a faithful Christ-centered exposition of Scripture. The difference is radical. In typical contemporary evangelicalism the gospel is something added on at the end of a sermon rather than being presented as the sole rationale for faith and obedience. As a result most Christians hear sermons that do not need Jesus in order to make sense. In this way the Christian comes to see Jesus in strictly utilitarian terms. He is not the One who, by his death and resurrection delivers us from God's wrath. Rather Jesus becomes a means to better one's life. Keller writes,
The main problem, then, in the Christian life is that we have not thought
out the deep implications of the gospel, we have not "used" the gospel in and on all parts of our life. Richard Lovelace says that most people's problems are just a failure to be oriented to the gospel--a failure to grasp and believe it through and through. Luther says, "The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine ...Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually." (on Gal.2:14f).