Saturday, December 31, 2011

On Preaching:  Westminster Catechism, 1647

Being in Taiwan, I get to see many temples.  Besides all the images, the main thing that strikes me is that none of them are set up for teaching.  If I compare with a Christian structure, the main design feature is the gathering hall where people can listen to an oration.  (Note:  Soka Gakkai is a Japanese Buddhist sect which does have the meeting rooms and preaching.)  Meanwhile, I am listening to orations that are recorded as I am shuttled here and there.  The following instructions struck me as being pertinent to this subject:

Q. 158. By whom is the Word of God to be preached?
A. The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.

Q. 159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labor in the ministry of the word, are to preach sound doctrine, diligently, in season and out of season; plainly, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with fervent love to God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory, and their conversion, edification, and salvation.

Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the word preached?
A. It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.   - Westminster Larger Catechism.


Delirious said...

In our temples, we do ordinances for ourselves, and for our dead ancestors. But also the temple is a place of learning. We are taught in a group setting. The symbolism of each ceremony is very deep and meaningful. The temple really is a place of learning. It is also a place to escape the world, and focus on spiritual things.

Looney said...

You said that the Sunday School programs use the same teaching materials everywhere. Is there any kind of preaching where someone lectures for 30 to 45 minutes on the Bible? The only talks of this sort I have seen are the short ones you posted as videos.

Delirious said...

In our Sunday school class, we have a set course of study, and similar to seminary, take one full year to study each book of scripture. In 2011 we studied the Old Testament. Our Sunday school class runs about 50 minutes, and the teacher follows the lesson to teach us. the lessons are pretty thorough. This year we rotate to the Book of Mormon. I think after that we will study the Doctrine and Covenants, and then rotate back to the New Testament. Even though the lessons books remain the same, there is so much contained in them that by the time we get back around to that book of scripture, we don't remember everything about the lessons. lol

In case you are interested, here is a link to our New Testament lesson manual online.

There are also links on the website to the Old Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine And Covenants/ Church history manuals.