Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Spurgeon on So-Called "Open Source Authority" Preaching

"Open-source authority" preaching is au courant in certain emergent circles. Details may vary, but at a basic level what you have is a pastor, without any preparation at all, "framing" a scripture text and then inviting comment from whomever wants to speak.

This is what I imagine Spurgeon would say about "open source authority," from his lecture entitled, "The Faculty of Impromptu Speech":
Churches are not to be held together except by an instructive ministry; a mere filling up of time with oratory will not suffice. Everywhere men ask to be fed, really fed. Those new-fangled religionists, whose public worship consists of the prelections of any brother who chooses to jump up and talk, notwithstanding their flattering inducements to the ignorant and garrulous, usually dwindle away, and die out; because, even men, with the most violently crotchety views, who conceive it to be the mind of the Spirit that every member of the body should be a mouth, soon grow impatient of hearing other people's nonsense, though delighted to dispense their own; while the mass of the good people grow weary of prosy ignorance, and return to the churches from which they were led aside, or would return if their pulpits were well supplied with solid teaching.*
I would add a bit more to what Spurgeon says. Instead of the proclaiming the life-giving Word of God through prayerful, faithful, exegetically-sound, Spirit-led preaching, these "new-fangled", "2.0", "open source" approaches usually produce nothing more self-fulfilling, self-justifying "prophecy" rather than conviction, repentance, faith, and belief in Christ.

*From Spurgeon''s Lectures to My Students, 162-163.

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