Teaching Christ alone, and Him Crucified

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darinhouston
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Teaching Christ alone, and Him Crucified

Post by darinhouston » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:23 am

I have heard this refrain throughout my life from teachers who seem to try to justify what I perceive as their indoctrinaire teaching style. At least one lately used it as an explanation of why he doesn't go into alternative views while also suggesting he avoids such a balanced approach out of fear that he might "lose" his audience. I'm curious what folks think of this sort of response. It strikes me as a cop-out, particularly since they almost never are the sort of teachers teaching the simple gospel alone to an unchurched or ignorant audience. If they were only teaching the basic gospel message, then I would suggest they might be more appropriately considered as evangelists more than teachers. If they are in fact gifted for teaching then it strikes me this would only be a legitimate response if their audience fit the mold of those in Corinth to which Paul used the words. In my experience, however, most "good" evangelical churches (at least in the bible belt) are not in the Corinthian morality trap and are more in the mold of Hebrews where they are just sitting stagnant in a simple faith and knowledge of the word, and as babes they should be learning more about the deeper things of God and sharpening their steel to be able themselves to teach.

What do you think?

JonathanYau
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Re: Teaching Christ alone, and Him Crucified

Post by JonathanYau » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:10 pm

darinhouston wrote:I have heard this refrain throughout my life from teachers who seem to try to justify what I perceive as their indoctrinaire teaching style. At least one lately used it as an explanation of why he doesn't go into alternative views while also suggesting he avoids such a balanced approach out of fear that he might "lose" his audience. I'm curious what folks think of this sort of response. It strikes me as a cop-out, particularly since they almost never are the sort of teachers teaching the simple gospel alone to an unchurched or ignorant audience. If they were only teaching the basic gospel message, then I would suggest they might be more appropriately considered as evangelists more than teachers. If they are in fact gifted for teaching then it strikes me this would only be a legitimate response if their audience fit the mold of those in Corinth to which Paul used the words. In my experience, however, most "good" evangelical churches (at least in the bible belt) are not in the Corinthian morality trap and are more in the mold of Hebrews where they are just sitting stagnant in a simple faith and knowledge of the word, and as babes they should be learning more about the deeper things of God and sharpening their steel to be able themselves to teach.

What do you think?

Yup how can a church grow if they're not learning about how to grow..

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RICHinCHRIST
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Re: Teaching Christ alone, and Him Crucified

Post by RICHinCHRIST » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:09 pm

I agree with you Darin. It seems to me that when Paul said he 'determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cr 2:2) he was referring specifically to his first encounters with the Corinthians (1 Cor 2:1). He says he "declared to them the testimony of God" (2:1). This seems to be in reference to the same testimony that John spoke of in 1 John 5:9-11: specifically that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ. He says in 2:4 that he was preaching, perhaps even for the first time (1 Cor. 3:5, 7 -Paul was said to have "planted"). He goes on a lengthy rabbit trail explaining the difference between the wisdom of man and the wisdom of God. Paul was interested in "simplifying" the message so that the Corinthians wouldn't be distracted by philosophy or elaborate persuasive rhetoric (which was common in Corinth and the rest of Greece). He just gave them the truth simply, so that they might rely on God's power rather than Paul's power to preach. Some people missed this point because they later divided over who they thought was the better teacher (the first verses of chapter 3 are in this same train of thought). So I would agree that preaching "Christ and Him crucified" should be to non-believers. But we must not take this statement hyper-literally as many preachers do today. Obviously Paul spoke about more than just Jesus' crucifixion. He most likely preached on the resurrection, the Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ, and the need for repentance. We can see this from the other things he preached in the book of Acts.

I would also say that I agree with your assessment that more people probably fit the mold of the Hebrews in their need for spiritual growth. However, I also think that in America we need to put feet to our faith more than anything else. I know in my own life I have failed many times by accumulating lots of knowledge but not putting it into practice. I think the members of the American church need to start living out their faith more than they actually do. And as they go out and do more good works and serve, they will find the spiritual growth they need practically.

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benstenson
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Re: Teaching Christ alone, and Him Crucified

Post by benstenson » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:24 pm

darinhouston wrote:It strikes me as a cop-out
Me too. I've had that same thought before. People often try to defend their intellectual laziness by making it sound noble. It is like saying, "my mental effort is korban."
"out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them" (Gen 2:19)

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