Well I have to say that the title above was just a gimmick to jolt your attention. I read this blog post on Confrontational Preaching and thought I might add some comments on it.

But first off, what do you think of  confrontational preaching? Any pros and cons to consider?

Well now, back to the blog post…

John Bohannon, in doing his research on preaching and the emerging church (You can download the book for free at he contends that some in the emerging generation are

“reluctant to engage the homiletical gear of heralding confrontationally, or they were missing it altogether.”

He takes Dan Kimball as an example of this where Kimball asserts that

“confrontational preaching has the potential to “shut people out.””

On the other side of the coin, Mark Driscoll runs in the opposite stream as Kimball. His sermons are mostly confrontational in nature and it is thought to be the thing used by God to reach thousands of people who flock church. Jesus is also contended by those in the camp of Driscoll that Jesus also used the same method to relay his message.

With this Bohannon states that

In an attempt to contextualize the message to a postmodern culture, in hopes that non-Christians might come to love Jesus and like the church, Kimball’s non-confrontational homiletic might just inadvertently be itching the ears of those he is trying to reach.

Bohannon in his conclusion calls for a balance approach as to not overemphasize the biblical tenants of “compassion, love, grace, and kindness” but to not miss on “the timely confrontation and/or purposeful contention” of preaching.

Although Bohannon gets it right in his conclusion, he does not criticize, in his post, the i’ll effects of an over emphasis on confrontational preaching which to me can be a turn off. I have to agree with Kimball on this one. It is true that there should be no dichotomy to confrontational preaching but there needs to be wisdom in how one approaches to use it. Was Paul always confrontational? Was Jesus always confrontational? Therefore for me, there is a time for confrontational preaching. But one must know when to use it.

2 thoughts on “IN YOUR FACE!

  1. i think the biggest problem with those whose preaching is confrontational is that they havent done anything to earn the right to confront the people to whom they are preaching. like the thing with the guy confronting jennifer knapp for being gay on larry king. that guy doesnt know jennifer. he hasnt prayed and cried and rejoiced with her through her experiences. so what right does he have to go on larry king and tell her shes wrong? even if she is and even if he does it in a compassionate manner it will almost surely fail. but someone who has been there for her and encouraged her etc will have earned the right to say something about her lifestyle w out it coming across wrong and its much more likely to land.

    on the other end are the pastors who have earned the opportunity but dont take advantage of it. for whatever reasons they refrain from confronting sin in the lives of those they shepherd. this too is a problem.

    so i guess wisdom is knowing how to love people and when to challenge them and how much. may we develop such discernment.

  2. graceshaker, you dealt with this issue exhaustively I should say. And yes, i agree that wisdom and discernment is something that each preacher and leader must develop. And this quote, I couldnt agree more;

    “i think the biggest problem with those whose preaching is confrontational is that they havent done anything to earn the right to confront the people to whom they are preaching.”

    In reading Paul’s letters we can actually discern which were directly his congregation on which he confronted explicitly (take Corinthians and Galatians) and those in whom he reserved wisdom in doing so. Paul’s way of communicating to Philemon can be something that Christian ministers learn to emulate.

    Thanks for your comments!

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