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Excellent post!


Mr. Newell, what a clear and easy "checklist" for pastors and congregations to consider. A pastor's calling has to be one of the toughest jobs there is.There must be constant self questioning and prayer of "...is this God's message or my opinion?" And your post reflects a good method of exercising discernment whether one is delivering or listening to a sermon. Thanks for sharing a helpful "one to grow on" !


Thanks for the compliment. I wish I could take credit, but I must give full credit to Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc. I'm just conveying a good tool for evaulating a sermon to see if it is a Christian. Todd uses this to perform sermon reviews on his weekday radio program.

Rick Weiss

Very good, I enjoyed Truth for a change

Larry - KY

I love this outline. Very few sermons in our neck of the woods meet this.

Question: Has Rev. Todd Wilkins thought about putting together a simple 3 question analysis that would "detect" if the Law is being preached right? The reason I ask is that at most churches I've attended they would not even come close to this analysis posted here, but I suspect they wouldn't even pass for correct Law preaching as a front end for the Gospel. It would be helpful to analyze the kind of law mostly being preached!





In the most recent issue of the Issues Etc. Journal, Todd writes about the proper preaching of the law. His article is the Law side of the sermon review tool that he uses for the Gospel.

Mike Horton of the Whitehorse Inn radio program has a great expression of the mixing of law and gospel: GOSLAWPEL. In this, the preacher confuses the Law, as being what makes us right in God's view, with the Gospel, as something we decide to accept.


Great post. This stands out: "When a believer comes to think that they don’t need to hear the Gospel anymore, but need to move on to 'more important teachings,' is when the believer needs to hear the Gospel again."

This is exactly where I was in my early teens. I was still in a Baptist church and we had an interim pastor at the time. This guy really did preach Christ crucified every single Sunday. I would get so impatient, thinking, "I know this stuff. Can we please move along now??"

Ironically, it was later on, when we got our permanent pastor and the sermons became more and more centered around biblical tips for good Christian living, that I realized my mistake. In my later teens I rediscovered the Gospel out of necessity because I wasn't really getting it anymore from the pulpit.

Larry G.

Thanks for the checklist. Hearing about Jesus is rare in our churchs. I generally heard His name in closing of prayers in the general Evangelical churchs. In the Presbyterian church, they talked about "God". Rarely did I hear the name of Jesus. I moved to the Lutheran church now I hear about Jesus all the time. I am not moving again! Finally home

God Bless,

Larry Ky

"This stands out: "When a believer comes to think that they don’t need to hear the Gospel anymore, but need to move on to 'more important teachings,' is when the believer needs to hear the Gospel again.""

That's a great point. My journey is not that far from yours except I was 33 at conversion. Then talked into getting busy, which I desired to "roll up my sleeves" and do for God. I use to think, "Now that I'm saved I'll exhaust myself to death serving God and Jesus". Sounds a lot like Peter's bragging doesn't it!

Well, I got sifted for 7 long years. The more I tried the more I failed. Like a stubborn mule I kept going until it killed me. It didn't feel like grace working back then, but looking back on it it was.

Larry ky


Great post! One question - did you get this from Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc. or did he get this from you?

Steve Newell

It's 100% Todd and 0% me.

Pastor Adetunmibi Raphael

Please,I want you to help me with some of your books that will enable me to keep on believing God.I love to read christian books particularly the books that related to the ministry.I will be gland if my request can be accepted by you.I am a theology student . I am schooling in The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary Ogbomoso.Please do all you can do in order to help me in the ministry's work.My poster address is (P.M.B.4008,Ogbomoso,Oyo State,Nigeria). Please send along with me books on preaching.Thank you for your support.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Rapael Adetunmibi.

Renee Ann

Excellent post! I know I’m late reading it, but I hope to see more posts like this around the internet. I have blogged about Christless Christianity a couple of times this year (as a layperson looking for a church after moving). Here is my second post: http://mousenaround.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/more-christless-christianity/

Todd Capen

Thank you for posting this. These are strange days for the evangelical church which really has its roots in Finney. Christ-centered sermons, I've discovered, are not what people want even in Reformed and Confessional Churches. Like this excellent article, people have to be trained to understand this. People really do want sheer exhortation and a list of things to do. Increasingly people in conservative churches have no idea what the Bible is saying in its most basic message. I find more hope with eight or nine year olds than many of the adults I've know. Thanks for helping us remember the Emmaus Road. --Todd Capen

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