IN THE HISTORY OF MY LIFETIME, I haven’t come across many preachers worth listening to. At least not during their sermons.
At one point in my life I just came to the conclusion that they talked too much.
That they were called on to speak so often that they ran out of engaging, thoughtful things to say.
I’ve since met several exceptions to the rule. One exception is the lead pastor at the church I attend. He is Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest United Methodist church in the country. I attend one of his outlying campus churches. We get his sermons by video.
He recently finished a series called “Wrestling with the Bible.” He dealt with some pretty tough topics, stirring a hornet’s nest a sermon or two. Especially the sermon on sexuality and the Bible…the hot button there was homosexuality. It got a few of my friends worked up a good one.
Adam’s final sermon in the series talked about the reliability of the New Testament. His main point, it seems to me, was this: we Christians take our cue from Jesus.
When something Paul or any other Bible writer says seems out of sync with what Jesus taught and practiced, we go with Jesus. We can put Paul on hold and try to figure him out later. But if it’s clear what Jesus taught, then that’s our model to follow.