Dangerous Preachers

Written by Mark Farnham

On October 17, 2011

Because the underlying theological influence of most emergent theology (even though its advocates rarely know it) is Karl Barth, the written Word of God is debased in favor of the living Christ of the Word (a false dichotomy). As a result, the sermon content of pastors influenced by the emerging movement is more dependent on psychology, sociology and other “soft sciences” than it is the Scriptures, since, supposedly, “all truth is God’s truth” (a notoriously slippery concept).

Edmund Clowney spoke of this dangerous problem:

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing if a preacher with a smattering of sociology, political science, or group dynamics begins to pontificate from the pulpit, proclaiming his amateurish notions or prejudices under the mantle of divine truth.

“Preaching the Word of the Lord: Cornelius Van Til, V. D. M.” The Van Til Lecture for 1983-84 delivered at Westminster Theological Seminary

While the soft sciences may contribute insight into life, they may only be considered helpful when subjected to the singular authority of the inspired Word of God, and interpreted through the lens of a thoroughly Christian worldview. Let us be careful that we are not deluded by plausible arguments and taken captive by philosophy built on human traditions, which are nothing more than assent to pagan elemental spirits of the world (Col. 2:1-8). Rather, let us not grow weary of grounding our preaching on Christ, who is himself, our wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24).

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