Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gen 8-11

9.17  I'm wondering about the nature of a covenant that God would have with animals.
11.14  I think that Salah may have been the first one recorded to have had a son that young.  This is the geneology where we see the ages decrease dramatically.
11.31  Why did Terah start to move to Canaan?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fundamentals for Preaching the book of Proverbs

(I am not a professional transcriber, so I would assume there will be mistakes.  The audio is available at  You can view the written article basied on this message on Bibliotheca Sacra , the DTS theological journal.)
This lecture deals with difficulties of Proverbs, kinds of sermons, the steps for preparing a sermon, and proposes and ten sermon series on Proverbs.
"Promise and difficulties of preaching Proverbs" by Bruce K Waltke

Preaching is debatably God's highest calling for the preacher mediates God's word to God's Spirit. God is spirit and is present in His word and meets His people in an "I thou" relationship through preaching His word.  God is always present in words and rarely seen with the eye.  The people of God are people of the ear not of the eye.  They have an ear for the Proverbs, but how shall they hear without a preacher who knows how to exposit the book for them in a sensible way.  In a world bombarded by inane clich├ęs trivial catchwords and Godless sound bites, the expression of true wisdom is in short supply today.  The Church stands alone as the receptacle and repository of the inspired traditions that carry a mandate for the holy life from the ancient sages.  As the course and bulk of Biblical wisdom the book of Proverbs remains the model of the curriculum for humanity to learn to live under God and with humankind.  As a result is beckons the Church to diligent study and application. To uncommitted youth it serves as a stumbling stone, but to committed youth it is a foundation stone. 
But Proverbs is a briar patch for its expositors. One student confessed that before taking a course of Proverbs he thought some proverbs were banal and others wrong.  To sober theologians the books promise of health, wealth, and prosperity seemed detached from reality and teach heresy.  Some proverbs seem to contradict each other.  “Do not answer fools according to their folly,” (26.4) is followed by, “Answer fools according to their folly (26.5).  Moreover whereas the book of Proverbs affirms a righteous order, the books of Job and Ecclesiastes seem to deny that reality.  How does a preacher preach what seems banal, wrong, or contradictory?  For the logical mind the book seems to be a hodgepodge collection having no rhyme or reason in its grouping of sayings. The proverbs and saying jump from one topic to another like scatterbrains in a living room conversation. Nevertheless from such an apparent mishmash the expositor is expected to develop a logically developed and emotionally escalating sermon.  No wonder expositors are afraid to touch this book. 
Also by way of introduction the preacher of the book can justifiably and profitably employ the three most common sermonic forms; textual, topical, and expository.  By textual preaching I mean the preacher devotes his entire message to preaching one proverb or saying.  This is feasibly and is arguably a form of expository preaching because each proverb has a distinct message.  By topical preaching I mean the preacher designs his message apart from a given text howbeit consistent with the books teaching.  In a topical message the preacher selects the topic of his message, develops his message in a logical fashion, and selects proverbs and saying from various groupings that support his message, and development of the sermon.  Topical preaching is especially in Proverbs because the composition of Proverbs differs so radically from the composition of a sermon that even the expository preacher must translate the organization of a group of sayings into a quite different form of a homily.  By expository preaching I mean that the expositor discerns by forms and rhetorical criticisms an author’s abstract message embedded in a grouping of several proverbs.  This abstract meaning serendipitously enriches the meaning of the individual proverbs and protects the vulnerable proverb against abuse.  Expository preaching is the queen of sermonic forms and only the most diligent preachers dance with her. 
Finally by way of introduction permit me propose that expository preaching consists of at least seven fundamental components the exegetical substance and sermonic style.  By labeling them as presuppositions I mean that they are prima facie reasonable.  Four fundamentals pertain to exegetical substance and three pertain to sermonic style.  Here are the four exegetical foundations:
1.       demarcating the textual unit by form and criticism and selecting which text to preach,
2.      two, deciding the English version to be used in the pulpit and by the congregation,
3.       three, exegeting the selected text according to the accredited grammatical historical method of hermeneutics,  
4.      four, abstracting the big idea that unifies the grouping of proverbs. 

Here are the three sermonic foundations,
5.      one, translating the big idea into a message in light of its place in the progress of redemption and of the congregation’s need,
6.      six, translating the text structure for which the audience has no reading strategy into the structure of the homily which the audience intuitively understands,
7.      seven, motivating the congregation to apply the message to concrete situations.  [13.30]
So let’s begin with the first one, the fundamentals of preaching. This lecture presents fundamentals of preaching for expositing Proverbs.  The next three lectures present fundamentals of proverbs for expositing the book. The first fundamental of preaching is demarcating and selecting texts.
1. The first fundamental of preaching then is demarcating the groupings and selecting the groupings to be preached.  In my two volume commentary I have demarcated its units by form criticism and rhetorical analysis.  My experience teaches me that four series of thirteen sermons per year works best because they provide the congregation with a sense of stable consistency and of appealing variety.  I have selected twelve texts for a series on Proverbs on the basis of, one, their importance for contemporary issues, two, the representative character of the book, and three, their potential to empower the congregation to use the book in their personal or family devotions.  I deliberately did not choose a thirteenth, leaving space for the preacher to include his favorite.  My choice for the thirteenth sermon would be on the theme of God’s attributes celebrated in this book. My big idea would be I Am, which the name of Yahweh means, and I prefer to translate rather than transliterate. I Am stands behind this book.  And my message would be, “Trust in I Am with all your heart.  Do not lean on your own understanding. And in all your ways take Him into account.”  [15.55]
To reflect more cogently on preaching the book of Proverbs it will help to familiarize ourselves with the book’s seven sections as marked by editorial notices at 1.1, 10.1, 24.23, 25.1, thirty, verse one, and thirty one, verse one.  Although 22.17 lacks a clear editorial marker, all scholars on the basis of form and rhetorical criticism demarcate 22.17 through 24.23 as a distinct section within the book.  In sum, the final edition of this anthology of wisdom literature consists of seven collections.   
     “Collection One Introduction to the Book” 1.1 through 19.18,
     “Collection Two: Proverbs of King Solomon One” 10.1 through 22.16,
     “Collection Three: Thirty Saying of the Wise Adapted by Solomon” 22.17 - 24.22,
     “Collection Four: Further Sayings of the Wise,” 24.23-34,
     “Collection Five:  Solomon Two Collected by Hezekiah’s Men” 25.1 though 29.27, 
     “Collection Six: The Saying of Augur, the son of Jakeh, 30.1-33,  
     "Collection Seven: Sayings of King Lemuel” 31.1-31. 
The groupings within these sections, however, lack clear editorial jackets.  These groupings imbedded in the seven collections are like sermons in a preacher’s file without file folders to separate them.  Unlike the Psalms which are separated by superscripts and subscripts, the textual units within Proverbs must be isolated by form and by rhetorical criticism.  Chapter divisions in the English Bible are not reliable indicators of the author’s groupings for the chapters were demarcated before form and rhetorical criticism had become a science.  We must down select the text with brief justifications.  Collection one 1.1-9.18. Collection one can be readily analyzed into a preamble 1.1-7, a prologue of lectures and sermons 1.8-8.36, and an epilogue 9.1-18.  The epilogue functions as a transition between collections one and two. 
The book’s preamble functions well as the first sermon to introduce the series of thirteen sermons because it sets for the fundamental information for understanding and preaching the book of Proverbs. The sermons I suggest be selected from the prologue because its encomiums to wisdom lay the theological and spiritual foundations for the catechistic teachings in the book.  Also, five sermons is not disproportional to the books own proportions.  The importance of the prologue can be inferred from its ruling metaphor, the way.  This dominant metaphor refers to a person’s whole life, namely, 1) his course of life, that is his character and context of life, 2), his conduct of life, that is one’s specific choices and behavior, 3) the consequences of that conduct that is the inevitable destiny of such a lifestyle.  Fundamental to conduct is character.  To try to live our the explicit or implicit admonitions of the proverbs and wise sayings in the collections without first preparing the heart to the encomiums to wisdom in collection one is as foolish as trying to keep the Mosaic law apart from the New Covenant.  That is to say the Torah, which means catechistic teaching, must be inscribed on the heart. As Moses in his three valedictory addresses in Deuteronomy first spiritually prepares the heart of his audience to spiritually love and trust God before giving the statutes and commandments in Deuteronomy 12-26, so also the encomiums in collection one spiritually prepare the catechumens to trust and love God before instructing them on behavior in the remaining six collections.  Moreover the poems of the prologue are highly relevant.  These lectures and sermons of collection one aim to safeguards Israel’s youth from both the seductive appeals of wicked men to make easy money and of the thin fudow? to indulge in easy sex.  Finally it is prudent to select half the sermons from the poems in this collection because the poems in this section come packaged for the preacher and shoehorn the church’s foot into the shoe of Proverbs.  (20.10)
Here then are the five suggested sermons from Proverbs 1.1 through 9.18.
·        Sermon one: the Preamble. Title: “Unlocking the Book of Life.”  I will exposit this preamble in my next three lectures.
·        Sermon two: “Safeguards against Wicked Men and Wicked Women” (2.1-22). This too is a must sermon for it presents the spiritual essentials to develop the Godly mind and against the temptations of easy money and easy sex.  This text will be exposited briefly in my lecture four. 
·        Sermon three: “Does Proverbs Promise Too Much” (3.1-12). The sermon sets for the covenant obligations of I Am and of the son.  The obligations of God’s part are promises not probabilities. But that raises the question for thoughtful people whether the book promises too much and of the wrong thing, a health, wealth, and prosperity gospel.  These questions trip up thoughtful people and if not answered will cause the expositor and his people to fall on their face.  I can’t touch it in the lectures.  The commentary resolves the tension in volume one pages 107 and 108.
·        Sermon four: “Why Father” (3.18-25).  Of the prologues twelve motivating lectures and sermons, this text offers the most comprehensive argument.
·        Sermon five: “What’s Wrong with Adultery?” Chapters 5-7.  The sermon on the femme fatale who plays a larger roll of the prologue that even woman wisdom can combine the tree successive warnings of the parents against her in chapters five through seven into three points of a sermon.  The sermon is essential in our liberal culture which wants liberty without law, freedom without form, and love making without marriage.
·        Sermon six: “Woman Wisdom’s Final Appeal to Uncommitted Youth” (8.1-36).  The ten lectures of the father and mother are directed to children about the age of puberty.  Woman Wisdom addresses her two sermons, 1.20-33 and 8.1-36, to simpletons, that is to say to children who have passed puberty without making a commitment to the catechism. The preceding four selected texts are the parent’s lectures in the home. Of Woman Wisdom’s two sermons to simpletons the second is the most famous because in the history of Christian doctrine the identification of Woman Wisdom with Jesus Christ became hardened doctrine.  That error can be corrected with spiritual profit.  That text will be considered in my lecture three. Course of all these quite briefly.   (12.40)
Turning to Collection Two, 10.1-22-16. Selecting the text and sermons from Collection Two is more difficult because the proverbs function on two levels of meaning individually and collectively.  Individually each proverb explicitly or implicitly admonishes the audience toward specific expressions of pious and or ethical behavior.  Collectively they communicate a message greater than the parts.  The groupings however depend almost entirely on rhetoric not grammar.  That is to say that unlike prose or longer poems they are not held together by syntactic links such as conjunctions, logical particles, and so on.  Not all agree that in Collection Two there are meaningful groupings each of which has a message.  If they are right then the preacher should preach either textual or topical sermons from this section.  Expository preaching as we have defined it would be wrong from the word go because is would impose upon reluctant texts messages not intended by the inspired author.  The commentary however argues the case for lager textual units in Collection Two and pastors have found the groupings useful.  While I was writing this paragraph I received this letter from a pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dr. Waltke,
I can’t thank you enough for your commentary of Proverbs.  I recently finished preaching through the book and would have approached 10-20 topically had I not read your introduction prior to beginning the series.  I have never had to think and pray so hard in going from exegetical outlines to sermonic outlines, but in the process Proverbs became a whole new book for me and then to my congregation. 
Nevertheless topical preaching from less clearly demarcated units has place in the healthy diet of sermons.  In my experience congregations respond well to a topical sermon that includes a short exposition of one textual unit at some point in the sermon.  If one opts for topical sermons from collection two then two must topical sermons to represent the teachings of this collection are sermon seven, “Being Money Wise” using the grouping 10.1-5 as one of the texts. 
Sermon eight “Wise Speech” using 10.6-14 as one of the texts.  I will exposit this unit in lecture four.  Three, Collection Three 22.17-24.22.  Grouping the sayings in collections three, the so called sayings of the wise is also challenging for the expositor, but not as challenging as Collection Two. After its own preamble in 22.17-21, the collection essentially consists of three decalogues of sayings.  Since the first decalogue which is mostly about money and the second which is about being an obedient son are topics already dealt with in the series, the congregation would find a healthy variety in the third decalogue. 
Sermon nine then, “Strength in Distress” 24.3-12.  This sermon is especially applicable to waken the Church to its social responsibility. Collection four 24.23-34.  Collection four is too short to demand representation in a separate sermon.  Its extended saying 24.30-34 which consists of almost half of its material will be considered in my lecture two.  Collection Five, 25.1-29.27.  Collection Five, so called Solomon 2, can be fairly readily demarcated both in respect to its macro groups and micro groupings the proverbs. 
[Sermon ten] One grouping amenable to expository preaching and relevant to safeguard youth against entertainment, the entertainment industry is “How to Deal with Fools” 26.1-12.  Collection Six: The Saying of Augur, the son of Jakeh, 30.1-33.  Although the prophet Augur intends his collection of inspired sayings to be treated holistically a sermon even as long as 45 minutes is better limited to his autobiographical confession in 30.1-6.  That biography sets for Christian epistemology and is especially applicable to a culture that believes in relative evaluations not in absolute values.  I will exposit this text in my lecture two.  Sermon eleven: “Christian Values Versus Postmodern Evaluations.”  Collection Seven 31.1-33.  Collection seven: “Sayings of King Lemuel that his mother talk him clobbers together two distinct poems into one,  “The Noble King” 30.1-9 and “The Noble Wife” verses 10-33,  thought challenging to the expositor though not too challenging, the preacher is better advised the second rather than the first because it draws the series to a conclusion with the book’s own conclusion.  The noble woman is a real shocker.  Although most speak well of her, few will emulate her. I’ll just comment here.  The key to that book is--the key to that sermon is a husband sits in the gate and she works to enable him to do it.  I never heard it preached.  Sermon twelve.  That may be my favorite text.  My wife’s text is, “She distributes portions to her maid servants.”  Anyway, sermon twelve “A Noble Woman: The Paradigm of Wisdom.” 
2. Turning then to deciding the translation.  A pastor must choose wisely for his congregation the translation for all his sermons.  All translations apart from The New World Bible are faithful and adequate.  By faithful and adequate I mean that all translations lead their audience to faith in Jesus Christ and to sound doctrine and never into heresy.  An anecdote will help explain what I mean by faithful and adequate.  In a course on the Old Testament prophets a student asked me, “Did anyone understand the prophets?”  I replied, “Well enough kill them.”  A congregation can respond to any message in the book of Proverbs using any English translation.  But translations are not all equal with regard to exegetical accuracy or to their targeted audiences or to fluency.  Part of my prejudice.  The best translation that satisfies these three criteria is Today’s New International Version, a revision of the New International Version.  As to the accuracy of the TNIV my inside knowledge may be useful to correct misrepresentations of this translation by evangelical leaders not competent to judge the merits of a translation.  The NIV was produced by 125 scholars in a hierarchy of four committees.  The highest committee, the committee on Bible translation CBT, hand the final authority over the text of the NIV and now of the TNIV.  CBT asked me as one of its members to generate revisions to the TNIV to improve its exegesis style of the NIV in the book of Proverbs.  75% of CBT, usually nine out of twelve had to approve a proposed revision in order for it to be adopted into the TNIV in order for it to be adopted.  I submitted 200 pages of suggested revisions with argument to justify the revisions.  CBT accepted about 90% of my proposals to improve the exegetical accuracy of the NIV and almost none to improve its style.  In contrast to the TNIV—I’ll skip that.  Moreover, the style of the TNIV is felicitous.  Unlike the as much as possible word for word translation of the New American Standard Bible, which I think is best for study, and of the English Standard Version, the TNIV follows the translation philosophy of Chrisaluaris??, a Byzantine Scholar who arrived in Florence Italy in 1397.  His rost(?) of students reads like a who’s who of early renaissance humanism. Prior to Chrisal?aris Medieval scholastic scholars when they had translated from Greek to Latin at all practiced a method they called verbin adverbin, (sp?) literally word for word.  At best this resulted in clumsy graceless Latin.  At its worse as Chrisalars pointed out, it could change the meaning of the original completely.  Chrisalaris abandoned the old method.  Instead he told his students to stick as close a possible to the sense of the Greek but convert it into Latin that was elegant, fluid, and idiomatic as the original.  The Chrisalarisis philosophy is, I maintain, true translation.  Leaders of the Afro-American community are trying to move their churches off the King James Version to an English version more intelligible to that large community.  We known African-American Hollywood producers and bishops of its major denominations are involved in this effort.  In choosing which of the modern versions to use they were especially concerned with how the text sounded.  They liked the way that the TNIV appealed to the eye but they needed to test the ear, so they decided to test a number of translations by recording different texts and adding background music and ambient sounds or sound effects.  In every situation the TNIV “sounded best” and will be their text.  Having spent forty years in producing English translations of the Bible, I am amazed at the cavalier manner in which pastor’s revise a translation on the basis of their own exegesis.  If the preacher corrects the TNIV or other major translation he infers that he with his quaint one or two years of studying the Hebrew Language is more competent that a committee of professional exegetes.  I have never heard a pastor’s revision that had not been rejected by CBT for good reasons.  Erasmus’s philosophy that if the church follows Luther, she will put a pulp in every pulpit has been fulfilled.         [40:45]
Exegeting the text:  Having selected the text and version, the preacher exegetes the original Hebrew text in order to be authentic.  He is God’s voice, the priest who mediates God’s Word to God’s people.  I began my theological studies at Dallas Seminary with the thought of becoming an expositor and quickly learned under the tutalege of S. Lewis Johnson that the knowledge of the Bible’s original languages is essential to being an authentic theologian and preacher.  In the introduction to Biblical Hebrew syntax I cite two arguments the first writers of Hebrew grammars used to justify their work. One, they argued, language is the means for all discernment and linguistics is the mean for all investigation and wisdom.  Two, the fulfillment of the commandments depends upon the understanding of the written word and in turn the proper knowledge of the language is impossible without the aid of linguistics they argued.”  I determined in my first year of seminary to be a skilled worker by competent exegisis and to be be a slop bucket theologian and or preacher and so I majored first in Hebrew and then in Greek.  Accredited hermeneutics includes the following disciplines:
     1) establishing the Hebrew text by textual criticism,
     2) establishing the literary genre by form criticism,
     3) defining significant terms by the use of a concordance or lexicon or theological word book,
     4) parsing and deciding the sense of all grammatical forms,
     5) identifying and interpreting  figures of speech,
     6) decoding the author’s rhetoric, and
     7) abstracting the Biblical writer’s thesis,
     8) locating the text’s teaching with in the context of the progress of redemptive history  and of the history of Christian doctrine.
A good expositor will involve himself in all these exegetical tasks to the extent of his available time and of his competence.  For these academic disciplines internalize the text in his soul and make it burn in his belly and causes it to flow from his lips as an oracle from God.  These fundamental disciplines are learned in seminary and a seminary that sends forth preachers incompetent to exegete the original text fails Christ and His Church and shortchanges its students.  Occasionally, however, one hears of a teacher or an exegete who denies himself the use of a commentary. This is fool hearty.  No unaided preacher has the time or competence to give authoritative answers to exegetical questions under the gun of a weekly clock.  He may fool his congregation and even himself about his own authority, but I suspect he is false.  To speak competently a preacher must use a good commentary intelligently.  Nevertheless keep in mind, as Milton said, that God does not expect of the expositor day labor life denied.  [44:31]
Absrtacting the Big Idea:  The expositor is now in the position to extract the big idea of the text.  He is above all concerned with the vital central concept of  his text with the interrelation of the idea of each proverb that links them one to another and with a deep underlying convictions that inspired the text and united them as a competent posit and unitary witness to ultimate theological truth. 
To put it another way, the expositor is looking for the grouping’s system or structure, a sort of inner grid which could be placed in the material and could be seen to provide some or ordering a coherence.  Simply put, as Haden Robinson who coined the term big idea wrote, “The big idea consists of both its subject and complement.  The subject answers the question, ‘What is the writer talking about exactly?’ The complement answers the question, ‘What is he saying about what he is talking about?’  The two together form the idea translating the idea into a message.” 
W. A. Criswell told me that he considered (He was the great pastor of First Baptist Church for you younger people.) having the sermon’s purpose the most important fundamental of preaching.  He kept the purpose in mind throughout the entire sermon from it’s attention grabbing introduction to is development of the body of the sermon to its climatic emotional appeal and climatic application to real and concrete real life situations.  What Criswell called purpose I call message.  The big idea abstracted by exegesis from the text must be translated into a message for as catechistic teaching the textual units of the Bible can note the potential of applicability.  That is to say they have a character which is suitable and able to provide direction to that which the human mind brings into relationship with it.  The notion of a big idea though good is inadequate.  The Bible is not interested in impersonal ideas and constructing ethical principles.  Moreover the Bible does not define itself as what Israel thought about divine matters.  The Bible is more than concepts about God or ethical principles or Israel’s witness to God.  The Bible is God’s address to his people, and He encounters them through spirit filled preaching of His Word.  Since the inspired author’s ideas and principles are true, they contain a moral imperative that demands a response.  In other words an idea in the Bible is a  message to be believed and acted on, not merely a notion or a guide to proper behavior.  I repeat, a message is not an idea, but an expected response to the idea.  Finally the ancient message must be expressed in a want that is consistent with the Christian Gospel.  A faithful Christian today is both similar and dissimilar to an ancient Israelite.   Both inherit Israel’s covenants, the Abrahamic, the Davidic, the New, which writes the ten commandments on the heart, share the same spirit of faith, hope, and love,   But the Christian now understands those covenants in the light of Jesus Christ.
W. A. Criswell, the late pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, said that he considered having a sermon's purpose the most important fundamental step in preaching. He said he kept his purpose in mind throughout the entire sermon, from the attention-grabbing introduction, to its logical development in the body of the sermon, to its climactic emotional appeal and practical application to real and concrete life situations.
What Criswell called a sermon's purpose may also be called its message. The big idea abstracted by exegesis from the text must be translated into a message, for the textual units of the Bible have a character that makes them suitable and able to provide direction to what the human mind brings into relationship with it. The notion of a big idea, though good, is inadequate. The Bible is not interested in impersonal "ideas" and ethical principles. Moreover, the Bible is not simply about divine matters. The Bible is more than concepts about God or ethical principles or Israel's witness to God. The Bible is God's address to His people and He encounters them through Spirit-filled communicators of His Word. Since the inspired author's "ideas" and "principles" are true, they contain a moral imperative that demands a response. In other words an "idea" in the Bible is a message to be believed and acted on, not merely a notion and/or a guide to proper behavior. A message, then, is not an idea but the expected response to the idea.
The ancient message must be expressed in a way appropriate to the Christian gospel. A faithful Christian today is both similar and dissimilar to an ancient Israelite. Both share in Israel's covenants, and both share the same spirit of faith, love, and hope. But the Christian now understands those covenants in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ—of His life, death, and resurrection—and he focuses his faith, love, and hope on the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The expositor must formulate his message in the light of that more complete theological knowledge.
The wisdom literature for the most part does not come packaged for the preacher. Its literary genres differ more radically from the genre of the homily than any of the other literary genres attested in the Bible, making the expositor's job of translating the messages as packaged in Proverbs to the homily more difficult. The Book of Proverbs was composed to be memorized, sung, and meditated on by children in the home under the tutelage of parents, not to be preached as homilies in a church. Just as a word-for-word translation of the Hebrew into English, as in an interlinear, is frustrating and not intelligible to the reader. So also the literary styles of the Book of Proverbs to develop the sermon do not yield an intellegable homily. Congregations intuitively know the appropriate strategy for hearing a sermon, but they are mostly ignorant of the literary strategies for reading Proverbs. What I’m saying is just as the foreign Hebrew of the original Book of Proverbs must be translated into smooth English, so also the foreign literary forms of Proverbs must be translated into a flowing homily.
Finally, applying the message.  I have learned by experience that the response to a message can only be actualized and measured by concrete actions. What does the preacher expect the congregation to do with the message when they step out of the backdoor of the church door back into the world? How will they incarnate his message? Without a clear notion of how to apply the sermon upon leaving the church, the congregants will quickly forget the message and not transform it into action. They will have enjoyed the sermon, but not much more than that will have been accomplished.
Conclusion.  In sum, my reflections on the fundamentals of preaching the book of Proverbs are one, by form and rhetorical criticism identify a textual unit within the anthology of proverbs and sayings and select thirteen texts that best represent and communicate the message of the book. Two, use a translation that best represents the text to the average reader of the congregation. Three, exegete the text first privately and then with a good commentary. Four, extract from the text the dynamic idea that explains the relationship of the proverbs in a grouping, including their continuities and discontinuities with each other, and that progressive revelation of the divine matter. Five, translate the text's abstract idea into a relevant Christian message. Sixth, for the development of the message translate the unfamiliar compositional form of the original text into the familiar form of the homily. Seventh, draw the message to conclusion by applying it to real-life situations.
Thank you for your attention.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Who is Messiah 'Isa ?

Who is Messiah 'Isa ?

Although Jesus is called the Messiah 11 times in 9 surahs, the Koran does not explain the meaning of this word. Hundreds of years before the Koran was written, the significance of the title Messiah, was made clear in the biblical scriptures which the Koran confirms were given by God.

And surely we gave Moses the book (Torah)(Surah No. 2 Al-Baqarah:87)
Say, We believe in God and … what was given to the prophets from our Lord. (Surah No. 2 Al-Baqarah:136)
… and we gave David the Psalms (Zabur)(Surah No. 4 An-Nisa:136)
And we sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him; and we gave to him the Gospel (Injil) which contains guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition for the pious(Surah No. 5 Al Ma'ldah:46)

Moreover, the Koran exhorts the faithful to believe in the biblical Scriptures given before the time of Muhammad:
O believers, believe in God … and the scriptures which He revealed before. Whoso disbelieves in god and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he surely has gone astray into far error.(Surah No. 4 An-Nisa:136)

As you read the quotations from the Bible and the Koran you will be able to judge whether Jesus son of Mary is the Messiah promised by the prophets, and what that means to all mankind.

In the name of the living and eternal God you are invited to read all seven booklets to understand who the Messiah 'Isa is. 

Genesis 1-3

3.17  Because you have heeded the voice of...  This reminds me of Proverbs 1.8 where the father urges his son to hearken (heed) his instruction and not consent to sinners' enticements.  Here Adam's sin was not primarily eating something, but regarding his wife's voice more than God's.  Sanctify the Lord. Honor Him and His name.