In Season and out of Season: The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching -- By: R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 14:2 (Spring 1997)
Article: In Season and out of Season: The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching
Author: R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

In Season and out of Season:
The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, KY 40280

A sermon preached at Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC, September 1996

I would ask you to think with me seriously and soberly about the task of preaching. As we do so, I would direct us to the text of Scripture, to 2 Tim. 4:1–5:

I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead and by His appearing in His Kingdom, preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate to themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Thus Paul charges Timothy with such strong language regarding preaching. And so we are confronted by the Word of God as we attempt to think biblically about our task in proclaiming the Word. As we survey the church, it would seem that preaching is in a state of crisis. Now at the onset we might admit that the word crisis is certainly one of the most overused terms in our contemporary vocabulary. Yet the intentional use of the term does indicate some urgent unease, some conscious concern, and some heartfelt reflection upon the state of preaching in the churches today.

If there were to be a crisis of preaching, what would the distinguishing marks of such a crisis be? Would we recognize this crisis in dropping attendance in the churches and decreased attention in the pew, in declining cultural appeal to the act of preaching, and, perhaps, in the declining social status of preachers? Or might the reality be more devastating by far than this?

Might the true evidence of a crisis in preaching be the evidence of immature and even ignorant Christians falling prey to false doctrine? Might it be evidenced by a worldly church proclaiming an increasingly worldly message? Might it be evidenced by confusion and secularity and a lack of discipline in our churches by the development of factions and factionalism? Perhaps such a crisis of preaching would be evidenced by nothing so quantifiable as statistics at all. What if such a crisis is not at all prompted by our setting and may not be at all ...

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