• Today, I completed segment 7, "The Power of God's Word." Dr. Edwards offers the power of the Word as one of the reasons we must preach. There is power in God's Word. With a Word, all of creation came into existence. Think about that. There was a time of complete nothingness then, a voice rings out, "Let it be..." And, it was. In that instant, nothingness became a vast somethingness! Galaxies and suns and planets sprang into existence at His Word. At the sound of God's voice, land appeared. He says, "Let it be..." And, it was! He speaks and tectonic action starts moving. A land mass responds to His call. His Word reshapes our world. God's Word has an effect. If He says you are healed, then you are. If He says you are forgiven, you are. If He says rise from the dead, you do. There is no need for technology or hospitals. His Word makes all the difference in our lives. God sends people with a Word. Those Words have changes the destiny of nations (i.e., Nineva). His Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. It is powerful. It is eternal. It is the most powerful force the universe has ever seen. We are blessed to hear His voice. Let's share the Word!
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      In segment 15, "True to the Bible in Content, " Dr. Edwards demonstrated how easily we can go astray with popularly quoted texts when we see the verse as a stand along passage, rather than how it fits into the bigger picture. Take Matthew 7:7 for example. Many of us see that section, "Ask, and it shall be given," and transform it into a message of God answering prayer. Anytime we have a problem, we simply dial God up on the prayer hotline and He will give us what we ask. If we preach that message, it will earn "Amens" from our faithful corner. It will go over well with the audience. Though there is truth in the message that God answers prayer, we are not being faithful to the entire passage. We are changing God's inspired Word to fit our own message. In reality, God instructs us in Matthew 7 how to treat others. He declares that we should not judge. We are all sinners. We all have logs in our eyes. God is generous and, though we are not worthy, if we ask for forgiveness, he is faithful to forgive our trespasses. That is the true context of the Matthew 7:7 passage. Ask for forgiveness and it will be given. We are then to take God's example of forgiveness and extend it to others. We are to practice the Golden Rule (the conclusion of Matthew 7's message). May I say to you, though I believe our God is a prayer answering God, the actual Holy Spirit inspired message of Matthew 7:7 text is far more powerful than anything I can humanly impart upon the verse. When we stay true to the text, the passage provides all of the necessary components of the message. It is the text driven sermon that the Holy Spirit uses to call people to a decision. For this reason, the text must be our priority.
  • Glenn Martinez CM102 Invitation to Biblical Preaching I Reflection   Prof. Edwards begins this course with an exhaustive list of reasons for preaching biblically. In addition to theological, pragmatic and personal reasons, Prof. Edwards points to a list of historical reasons. He says: “the fact is that every significant work of God has been accompanied by a renewed emphasis on preaching … if you want to see God’s hand in your country, in your community, in your church – well, if that happens, it will always be done in conjunction with strong biblical teaching. It doesn’t happen apart from that. It never has” (segment 9). Prof. Edwards goes on to give a plethora of examples of how God has worked through the preaching of the Word to strengthen and build up his church. I think this has important implications for today’s church.   Church revitalization is a major concern in mainline and evangelical denominations today. Church revitalization plans often focus on renewal of worship style, rearranging of worship services, and expansion and re-orientation of church ministries. The underlying idea is that the church needs a way to ensure that the children of the aging faithful members remain or return to the church. I recall a church in my neighborhood that billed itself as the “home of the 60 minute service.” In this case, the attempt to make church appealing to its surrounding culture seemed to cut directly into the one thing that can actually make the church effective – preaching. The church’s website asked: “so you want to go to church, but you don’t want to have to spend countless minutes listening to a boring preacher saying the same old thing?” The 60-minute service was the solution to this problem. The church proudly announced that its pastor’s sermons were no longer than 19 minutes. “We know how busy you are.” “A church to fit your busy lifestyle.” These were key phrases that highlighted the value and appeal of the 60-minute service. The church eventually shuttered. I think the curtailing of the preaching of the Word was a critical factor in the failure of this particular marketing tactic.   So, I want to briefly consider the converse. What would this church’s marketing strategy have looked like had the idea that the church’s vitality was intimately connected to biblical preaching been emphasized? Perhaps the notion of a 60-minute service is an appealing notion in today’s society, but what was lacking in the church’s strategy, I think, was a focus on the value of those 60 minutes. How, for example, was the 19 minutes of preaching achieving its intended purpose? This was the fatal flaw in the strategy. I think the church may have been able to survive had it emphasized the life-changing nature of those 19 minutes. And to do so, it would need to make an appeal to the necessity and power of Biblical preaching. Rather than proposing a tag line like “the home of the 60 minute service”, I think the church could have benefited from a tag line like: “the most important 19 minutes of your life” or “change your life in 19 minutes.”   In sum, I think church revitalization needs to be grounded fundamentally in the renewal of the preaching ministry. As Prof. Edwards says: “We have the same Word of God that they did. If we unleash its power, which will not return void, who knows what might happen?” (segment 9). Isaiah 55:11 says: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” I firmly believe that God has a person to fill every square inch of each pew in every church in America. The question is: How do we effectively unleash the power of his Word to fill them?
    1. Michael Wolfe                                                                                                                  CM102 – Invitation To Biblical Preaching 1 Response To Course   This course definitely gave me food for thought in several different areas.  Facing the reality of “The Ministry of Discouragement” as  Kent Edwards so eloquently stated is something I know all too well and experience on a daily basis as a senior Pastor.   The many and varied challenges we face in today’s world as leaders in a congregation do run the gamut from the obvious stage fright to the more specific of fleshing out a topic for a congregation perhaps not very receptive to its message. As the instructor Prof. Edwards states and my heart fully assents to, there must be applicable knowledge of textual and cultural nuances in the biblical text.  Without a broad understanding of church history and myriad historical accounts of  scriptural truths preaching cannot be true to the text. My own personal experience agrees with the fact “preaching is not easy”. There are many challenges. Today is much more difficult in complicated ways because of the myriad false and misleading doctrines, hundreds of commentaries reflecting differing viewpoints, and the dangers of falling into entertaining and worldly stories which dilute solid truth to name a few. The preachers of yesteryear had their own unique struggles. We are not facing the same things. There are no men trying to kill us for preaching. Although, persecution would perhaps not be a bad thing and might possibly change the landscape of Christianity in the USA. I quote from Pastor Steve Lawson in the documentary Puritan: All Of Life To The Glory Of God, he said, “The problem with preachers today is no one is trying to kill them.” (unquote). As the spiritual authority of the church Pastors must keep preaching God’s Word and feeding the sheep as his priority. I appreciate Malcomb Gladwell saying that it takes 10,000 hours of concentrated time spent correcting and perfecting. Reflection and meditation on the text the Lord has given utilizing expert and sound tools such as Logos Bible Software takes time and prayer. This can be very difficult with the distractions of the congregation with event planning and other activities. John Stott asked rhetorically, ”How can we be persuaded to go on preaching and to do so effectively?”.  My answer to that question would be from my own personal conviction that the inerrant, infallible and the inspired Word of God is holy and worthy of solid, sound sermons. Each writer was uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit with their own personality, background, writing methods, and worldview shaping the presentation of each thought. It never ceases to amaze me that the scripture in 2 Peter 1:21 (ESV), “ For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man. But men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” clarifies everything so perfectly. This gives me great confidence in scripture and following God’s truths in expository preaching. When I am preaching the Bible I am preaching a book that is correct in every way and guaranteed by God Himself. It is essential for the unsaved and saved alike. Spiritual growth and maturity cannot happen without the equipping nature of the scriptures. For these reasons alone I would preach until my heart stops. The Word of God is beautiful. There are many reasons to preach aside from the Word of God being what it is. God has called me to preach. This is something I cannot deny. Through the assistance of this course, the witness of many people I have preached amongst, and my own convictions I can state with confidence the Lord has called and gifted me to preach.  I cannot do it on my own or in my own strength and wisdom. Looking inside and asking the question “Why? Why do I preach?”.  Because Christ died for me to do so. I have been entrusted by the Lord to be the spiritual leader of the church I am called to serve. I feel compelled to guard them from lies and false doctrine, to pour the Word of God into them so they may grow and love the richness of Word as well as seeking to grow in the Lord. Last but not least, I have been called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. In summary, a biblical sermon is being true to the text and its historical content as well and faithful to declare the Word of God is simplicity, through the Holy Spirit’s enabling and power. Preaching is presenting what God has communicated with knowledge and wisdom. I have seen lives changed through expository preaching as well as topical preaching and appreciate both styles.
      1. I absolutely love the vision for preaching Dr. Edwards presents in this video clip: https://today.faithlife.com/2017/12/19/a-visual-version-of-the-apostles-creed/ The post advertises CM102 as related to this vision, but I don't see where Dr. Edwards covers what he calls "dialogical" preaching. Did I miss it? Does he cover it in a different resource? Honestly, it was this video clip that convinced me to buy the Kent Edwards' preaching bundle, but I haven't seen this "dialogical" preaching covered in the courses I have completed thus far.
        1. In "True to the Bible in Form", Dr. Edwards writes "Narratives need to be presented with a basic narrative structure—poetry, with basic poetic form; Epistles, in the same logical, sequential order that God inspired." Dr. Edward himself has written (https://www.logos.com/product/5435/effective-first-person-biblical-preaching) & taught (https://www.logos.com/product/126980/mobile-ed-cm210-preaching-biblical-narrative) about narrative preaching & we are all likely most familiar with preaching from the Epistles. However, is anyone able to recommend any specific resources that explain how sermons based on a passage of Biblical poetry can preserve a "basic poetic form"?
          1. Mark Futato's course Preaching the Psalms may be helpful for you (https://www.logos.com/product/56488/mobile-ed-cm328-preaching-the-psalms). I'm not sure if he tackles specifically how to preserve the poetic form in sermons, but he discusses the form and features of Hebrew poetry in good detail.
          2. Thank you - I will definitely take a look.
        2. In segment 24 when the pro says to go to wiki and search canonical commentaries then scroll down to Matthew for the rule he only takes part of the rule. It's so fast most users will miss it, but my question is why only part of the rule and if that's the best part then why not change the rule for the wiki page? I thought about email the Logos pros directly, but this effects everyone here doing the course.
          1. Mobile Ed Summer Session: Learn in Community! For the first time ever, Mobile Ed is introducing Summer Session—an opportunity to study in community with others and with course moderators who will provide weekly study plans, pose discussion questions, and guide conversation on the material you’re working through together. Starting July 13, Mobile Ed contributing editor Dr. Ed Cook will walk you and others through CM102 Invitation to Biblical Preaching I by Dr. Kent Edwards. This two-week moderated course will finish July 24. You’ll find the CM102 Summer Session syllabus under the Documents tab. Starting July 13, you’ll be able to follow along with your cohort’s conversation under the Discussions tab. Know of anyone else who would appreciate this opportunity to improve their biblical preaching in community? Invite them to buy CM102 and join the conversation! We’re also moderating TH191 until July 31 and will be moderating NT311 from June 29–July 10. You can save on these courses when you buy the Summer Sessions bundle at Logos.com/SummerSession.
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