Poor Preaching is Spiritual Malnutrition

Alistair Begg has been speaking about expository preaching on his program Truth for Life. He has stressed the basic tenants of sound preaching over and over. Of particular interest to me is the need for pastors to work through a text in order that the people might benefit from the whole counsel of God’s Word. This helps the man engage topics he might otherwise avoid. Failure to do this withholds from the congregation essential truths they need to hear and learn and do. It is akin to withholding from a child certain foods that deprive him or her of essential vitamins and minerals which can result in malnutrition.

It can be said that unless a pastor preaches all the Bible, he causes his listeners to experience a type of spiritual malnutrition.

“It is no secret that Christ’s Church is not in good health in many places in the world. She has been languishing because she has been fed, as the current line has it, junk food. All kinds of artificial preservatives and all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her. As a result, theological and biblical malnutrition has afflicted the very generation that has taken such great steps to make sure it’s physical health is not damaged by using foods or products that are harmful to their bodies. Simultaneously, a worldwide spiritual famine resulting from the absence of any genuine publication of the Word of God continues to run wild and almost unabated in most quarters of the evangelical world.”  (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward Exegetical Theology)

The local church should pay as much attention to spiritual fitness as the culture does to physical fitness. 1 Timothy 4:18 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Godliness cannot come apart from learning and doing God’s Word.

Congregations should insist that their pastors preach and teach the Bible – all of it. They need to find men who hold to the inspiration, sufficiency, and infallibility of the Bible; men who are more interested in what God has to say about a thing than what anyone else has to say; men who can “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Exegetical Theology

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Exegetical Theology

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