I read with some interest this article at christianpost.com: “Church Network ‘Launches’ Sermon-Packed Bible“. I’ll provide a couple of excerpts and give you my thoughts. At the end of this post you’ll see more links to check this Bible and organization out for yourself.
The Second Billion Network has “launched” a Bible featuring sermons from some of the world’s best expository preachers alongside each of the Holy Book’s 1,189 chapters.
As announced last month during the North American Conference on Biblical Preaching, the overarching goal of the “Global Preaching Bible” is to give new pastors the means to a Bible-based preaching ministry, and to provide pastors everywhere the ability to preach through the entire Bible and apply rock-solid principles to their congregations.
comment: I appreciate the desire to train pastors in having a Bible-based preaching ministry (I find it hard to believe that there could be any other type of preaching ministry…but I digress). I also appreciate the desire to see more expositional preaching with practical application – this is needed. I was interested to see who would comprise the list of “the world’s best expository preachers”.
For the effort, the Second Billion Network invited some of the best expository preachers to invest ten of their best messages into a collection that will result in a biblically-sound, expository sermon for each of the 1,189 chapters of the Bible.
comment: Am I straining at a gnat? I would like to know how one determines what their “best” messages are – what is the criteria? Response to the message? How it “felt” when it was delivered?
In addition, the Bible will reportedly feature tools to build biblically-sound messages on a weekly basis, weekly sermon updates to help with societal transformation, and search functions by contributor, topic and scripture reference.
comment: I would like more information on what tools are available in this Bible – surely they are limited due to size & space; but it seems like a helpful construct.
Since its inception, the Second Billion movement has centered around pastors and local churches. Though the network labels itself as inclusive – calling on “every church, regardless of size, and every Christian, whether known or unknown” – it has so far received most of its support from Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders.
The movement has received endorsements from Sunday Adelaja, charismatic founder and pastor of what is believed to be the largest church in Europe; retired televangelist Robert H. Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral in California; George O. Wood, head of the Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God; and controversial preacher and “faith healer” Reinhard Bonnke.
comment: And this is where my biggest reservation occurs. Red flags occur as this is endorsed heavily by the Charimatic Movement. I would have liked to seen a list of contributing preachers in this article – perhaps that would allay my “fears”. With endorsements from such people as Robert H. Schuller, I am very cautious about this project.
- Do we want to train men to preach / pastor so that they are able to study the text for themselves, or do we want them to simply parrot what others have said / preached?
- I don’t have a problem looking at what others have said about the text, even in their sermons, but I don’t want that sermon tied exclusively to the text: in other words, it places a greater authority on the sermon than should be, in my opinion. Provide the sermons in another book, apart from the Bible.
- What were the qualifications for these sermons to be placed in this Bible? – this really concerns me.
- While the sermons might be provided, the means to how that preacher / pastor arrived at his conclusions on the text through diligent study are not provided – this is what fledgling preachers need. How do I study the text to arrive at a correct conclusion about what it is saying?
- What other concerns / comments might you have?