I have not gotten far but am reading on preaching and its shallowness in many SBC churches and for that matter much of the church as a whole. To relate the importance of solid preaching to the life of the church Nettles says:
“The believer’s only opportunity to hear an argument mounted against the torrent of temporality pressed daily and hourly into his consciousness comes when a Christian minister stands to preach the Word of God. Will he hear anything that challenges and strips bare the lies that have been presses on him from every quarter? Or will he hear a few assertions from a biblical text surrounded by warm stories garnished with the trappings of sentimentality and never enter substantially into truth? Will he be called on without doctrinal instruction to pull himself together and get with it for Christ, decide to do right, and make Christ the center of life?” (Page 32)
These are strong words but rightly needed in today’s day of “don’t worry be happy” preaching. With so many preachers afraid to even mention sin in case it may somehow harm the sensibilities of his listeners and even reduce the size of his congregation it is refreshing to see one, Tom Nettles, who is in a position to foster change make such calls for reformation in preaching. This is a wake up call for all, including myself, to make sure that what we preach is not molded so as to stoke the ego’s of our listeners but to encourage God driven change in their lives and thus the life of the church by preaching the Word of God as if it truly is the Word of God.
To this point the book is not simply a critique of what is wrong but has solid guidance for change and a feeling that change can come by the hand of God on His people. All is not lost to the worldliness of the current church and specifically to the text many SBC churches.
Also, check out Tom Ascol’s comments from late last year when the book came out:
Ready for Reformation?
Ready for Reformation? Pt2
Ready for Reformation? Pt 3
Ready for Reformation? Pt4
Ready for Reformation? Pt5
Ready for Reformation? Pt6
I plan on writing more as I go through this book.