Today I was a sponsored guest for a great preaching event hosted by Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, CA.  The event was titled, “Preaching Into the Wind: Biblical Preaching in a Skeptical Culture.”  The featured speaker was Haddon W. Robinson.  It was great to meet and listen to a man whom I have admired over the years for his devotion to Gospel proclamation.

Following are just some random bullet points of thoughts I had while listening and quotes taken from Dr. Robinson’s talk.

  • There was a time when preachers were respected and the church was trusted… but that time was not during the NT period.
  • Persuading the prophet of God to speak against God’s Word does not change God or His actions.  It only skews our perception of reality (1 Kings 22:1-50)
  • It is hard to stand for truth, when a leader only wants a “yes” man.
  • When you don’t want to face the truth, hire a panel of experts to offer consensus.
  • To speak with moral courage in the face of those who can, and will, try to destroy you is a challenge.
  • “To speak with moral courage, you must speak to an audience of one—God.” – Haddon Robinson
  • To speak boldly from the pulpit is not always moral courage.  Sometimes it is stupidity in the guise of “God says.”
  • In the age of TV, the intro to the sermon has taken on new significance. If you don’t grab someone’s attention in the first 20 seconds, they will use their mental “remote” to tune you out.
  • Preachers can no longer afford to talk “to” people, you must learn to talk “with” them”.
  • Times have changed.  in our age, “we need to preach through stories.” – Haddon Robinson
  • “If you quit when you’re through, you can preach longer.” – Haddon Robinson
  • “Preachers take too much for granted and talk as if everyone had a talking snake in their backyard.” – Haddon Robinson
  • On any given Sunday, do you hear more about how to “join” the church and participate in programs, or do you hear more about how to follow Jesus.
  • Take your message from one person and its is plagiarism.  Take your message from five people, and it is scholarship.
  • “‘Boring’ is not only bad communication, it is a destroyer of hope.” – Haddon Robinson
  • The Bible story is exciting.  If your pastor is boring, it is not God’s fault.

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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