This week I was blessed to fill in as host for Cross Encounters Radio once again. My guest was Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity Ministries. During the first hour we discussed Andrew’s ministry and the work they do to equip Christians in areas of evangelism, hermeneutics and systematic theology. I highly recommend our readers to go the ministry site and take advantage of the resources available. In the second hour, Andrew and I had a lengthy discussion about the current effort from Hollywood to market the film “Man of Steel” to churches around the country as sermon material. Unfortunately, churches in America have been making a practice of using popular cultural icons as a means of drawing “unchurched” people into the pews. Now Hollywood sees an opportunity to make a profit off of this silly, unbiblical and even blasphemous practice. Please download the podcast and listen to the discussion that we had on this issue. I pray it is edifying and a blessing to you.
Any preacher who depends on movies or anything other than Scripture for the basis and foundation and every aspect of a sermon is a tool of Satan. Pleasing goats and starving sheep.
Manfred, “basis” in Scriptures: check. “Foundation” in Scriptures: check. “Every aspect”? Perhaps this is an overstatement. Paul quoted idolatrous pagan poets to illustrate a point, so cultural references can have their place.
Not that I’m enthusiastic AT ALL about using movies as illustrations, especially because of the power of visual images But it would be hard to make a Scriptural case that extra-Biblical illustrations / references are always inappropriate, since Paul used them both in his preaching and in his God-inspired epistles.
Jon – Your response fails to take into account the different audiences in play. The Apostle Paul was preaching to pagans, not to the church. Pagans swimming in their cultures can benefit from such references – sheep within the sheepfold need the Word of God.
Manfred, Titus 1 is written to a believer for the edification of believers. Likewise, I Corinthians 9, which uses a cultural reference to a pagan athletic competition.
To be sure, these are not the basis of Paul’s messages nor a significant component of them.