It is alarming that in evangelicalism so many preachers have jettisoned the weekly preaching of the gospel in order to regularly give their congregations “practical tips” on how to live a nice Christian life. It seems that this reality is driven by a misunderstanding of the gospel. Many preachers/Christians see the gospel as merely the “plan of salvation” or the way one enters the Christian life, but once they’ve believed it and entered the faith now they need to learn how a Christian behaves. Now, they need tips on how to live a better life. Preachers who do this don’t see the gospel as practical or as applicable to everyday life.
And yet, in this climate, there is beginning to be a re-emphasis on the centrality of the gospel for all of life and a renewed interest in gospel-centered preaching. It’s becoming a buzz word. But, there seems to be confusion about what gospel-centered preaching actually is, what it sounds like, what it does, how one should do it, and so on…
It seems that every young seminarian has experienced sitting down in a seminary chapel to hear a preacher who holds up his Bible and says, “We have to do expository preaching or we aren’t really preaching the Bible,” only to have that preacher set his Bible down after that and use one verse as a diving board into tips he wants to share with the preacher boys on what ministry is like. Most preachers claim to be expository preachers, but it seems as though very few actually do it.
In the same way, no one would voluntarily claim “I’m NOT a gospel-centered preacher.” Everyone thinks they are, and yet we hear testimony of so many young people who when they actually hear gospel-centered preaching say “I’ve never heard anything like that. Who does that? Where can I hear more of that? How can I learn to do that?” No one would claim that they are not gospel-centered, but people may mean different things when we say it.
It is in this context that Baptist21 is excited to announce the opportunity to host a B21 Panel Luncheon at the 9 Marks Conference at SEBTS on Friday September 10th from approximately 12:15pm-1:30pm.
For more information about the 9marks conference on Biblical Theology to be held at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary click here – this will be exciting conference that boasts an outstanding lineup. The plenary speakers will be Danny Akin, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, and David Platt.
The topic for this year’s panel will be “Gospel-Centered Preaching in the Local Church.” This theme will combine the discussion from last year’s 9 Marks conference (expository preaching) and this year’s conference (biblical theology).
This panel will aim to bring greater clarity to what gospel-centered preaching actually is and what it isn’t. Here are some other things that will be discussed:
- How do you actually do gospel-centered preaching? Much of this discussion in evangelicalism is focusing more on the why than the how…
- Does a preacher have to preach the gospel every week? If you do need to preach the gospel every week how do you do this in a way that every text isn’t making the same point?
- Where does practical application fit in to this method? How do we preach for real, lasting transformation in our people?
- What are some objections to gospel-centered preaching? Some say this method does damage to the nature of Scripture because it seeks to find Jesus under every rock and bush in the OT. Opponents hold up their hands and ask, “Where are the brakes on this so we don’t slide into allegory?”
- How might gospel-centered preaching look different in the North than in the South? City versus Suburbia or rural areas?
- And more…
We are going to have an incredible lineup of experienced and competent preachers to help us think through these important issues:
- Danny Akin– President of SEBTS
- Mark Dever– Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church
- Thabiti Anyabwile– Pastor of FBC Grand Cayman
- David Platt– Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills
- And more to come…
Where: SEBTS Multi-Purpose Room in the Ledford Student Center
When: Sept. 10, 12:15-1:30 (after the Sermon Review for Session 1)
Cost – There will be a $7 charge that will include a Chic-Fil-A Lunch