The Balance of a Healthy Biblical Diet
This could be cast as something important for almost all Christians, but I shall cast it in terms of the responsibility of pastors to feed the flock of God with the whole counsel of God. There are at least three components to this balanced diet:
First, pastors should be teaching and preaching from all parts of the Bible-from both the Old and the New Testaments, and from the different genres of the Bible: history, lament, chronicle, psalm, epistle, proverb, apocalyptic, wisdom, and so forth. Pastors should keep looking back over their shoulders to see what they have covered and what they have not covered recently.
Second , pastors should be checking up on themselves to see if they are covering all the major biblical themes. It is sadly possible for a preacher to choose texts from many different parts of the Bible and yet overlook major themes of the Bible. For example, it is possible to handle text after text with a tone and an application that are invariably denunciatory, even angry, sometimes self-righteous, and devoid of much grace; alternatively, it is possible to handle text after text in such a way that underscores God’s love and grace but without a word about God’s jealousy, wrath, and judgment.
When I was in pastoral ministry, every six or nine months I’d skim the index of a systematic theology or two so as to alert me to themes I had not so much as touched on.
Third , because the Bible is not a collection of miscellaneous religious texts that the preacher is honor-bound to cover but a God-breathed collection that establishes trajectories-trajectories of both narrative and theme-the balanced preacher will so trace out these trajectories to demonstrate how rightly handling the word of truth follows inner-canonical lines that bring us to Jesus and the gospel. Failing to do this regularly is simply not faithful, balanced, biblical preaching. In other words, balanced biblical preaching does not take place where the preacher unpacks sentences in the narrow focus of the immediate context without keeping an eye peeled for the biblical-theological storyline, for the entire canonical context.
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