-Preach the Gospel -not just the content but style and engagement
– Talk about God, Creation, Humanity, New Creation etc – in other words about doctrine.
When that happens, sparks fly! Sometimes we disagree and that can lead to controversy and heat. However, we also can learn a lot from these touch points.
The Royal Wedding Sermon has been just one such occasion. I notice that Steve Timmis on twitter has suggested that this is one of those times when it might be worth pausing and reflecting. So as a contribution to that, I thought I’d try and put some links together of some of the key articles on the subject here.
You can read my thoughts in three parts –here, here, and here. In the first article I explain why it is appropriate to stop and critique the Royal Wedding Sermon, I then in part 2 go on to highlight the “good bits” of the sermon before finishing with where I believe the gospel gap and danger points were.
Stephen’s second article is a response to Glen Scrivener’s video post which is available here. Glen argues that whilst the Bishop should not have been invited in the first place, and whilst there were shortfalls in the sermon, there were significant positives in terms of the emphasis on the God of Love who sends his son. My personal view is that Glen is being a little generous here because I don’t think the Trinitarian God and the “sent Son” are fore and centre. I think we are left with an impersonal abstract concept of love. But have a listen to Glen and see what you think. He is always good value.
Ian Paul suggests that there’s lots for preachers to learn from the Bishop’s preaching style but also wants to raise concerns about the content.
Robin Ham similar picks up on some of the positives, notably that preaching can still cut through as well as cautioning about what the sermon lacks
Then there’s the Archbishop Cranmer blog which is overwhelmingly positive. He has also been quite critical of those who found fault in the sermon.
Finally, have a read of David Robertson on the Wee Flea site. He is equally robust on critiquing and challenging.
I’m sure that there are other thoughtful pieces out there, Let me know if you find any and I might add them.
In summary, I think there are two basic approaches. The first is to see the positive hooks, references to the Gospel that effectively set up an open goal for the evangelist. The other perspective is to see the dangers, the false theology and even idolatry in the talk and want to guard against that. Both aims are actually noble -and maybe we can learn something from each other.