Summary: Psalms 46:1 outlines the fundamental principles necessary to teach THERAPEUTIC PREACHING IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY,
THERAPEUTIC PREACHING IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY
David L. Lane Ph.D.
Text: Psalms 46: 1
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Biblical Preaching is proclamation done for God's glory and man’s growth. In view of our world today and its complexities, contradictions, traumas, turmoil, pain, problems, wars and worries, many in the pew are seeking relevance in the pulpit. Biblical Preaching is effective when preachers focus on its primary purpose.
Six (6) purposes of preaching that must be developed in formulating a theology of preaching are proclamation, confrontation, reconciliation, edification, application and evaluation. Each purpose must be employed if preaching is truly therapeutic.
In the proclamation of the gospel man is confronted with God. The mind of man confronts the mind of God. The heart of man confronts the spirit of God. The sins and needs of man confront the grace of God and the soul of man confronts the Son of God. It is the event known as preaching that the natural, sensual, material man comes face to face with the spiritual and eternal truths of God. Such a confrontation is needed if man is to know God and eternal life in His Son. (John 17:3)
The purpose of preaching, then, is to effect changes among members of the body of Christ that build them up individually and that build up the body as a whole. Individually, good pastoral preaching helps each person in the congregation to grow in his faith, conforming his life more and more to biblical standards. Corporately, such preaching builds up the church and influences the world.
Since preaching involves at least two responsibilities; An explanation of the Bible and how it relates to life, and life explained in light of scripture. Therefore effective preaching has of necessity always been powerful, persuasive, purposeful, relevant and therapeutic. Effective preaching (1.) finds God or divine initiative in a text, (2.) notes the nature of God’s involvement throughout the text, (3.) makes a concrete connection between God’s presence and the lives of the listening congregation and (4.) demonstrates with creativity and keen insight how God’s power is used on behalf of the people of faith.
PREACHING THAT EXEMPLIFY THE AIM OF GOD
Therapeutic preaching is designed to reach each ache of the soul. Let’s look with eyes of discernment and see a formula in dissecting the word “preach”. Remove the letter “P” from the word “preach” and you’ll see “reach”. Remove the letter “r” from the word “reach” and you have the word “each”. Remove the letter “e” from the word “each” and place it on the end and you will have the word “ache”.
Therapeutic preaching then is designed to reach each ache of the soul. Those aches are translated by the author as hurts, habits and hang-ups.
Conversely, therapeutic preaching approaches the text with two fundamental questions.
1. How do I demonstrate to God’s people today, through the proclamation of the Word, the mighty gracious acts of God on their behalf?