the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #50

Posted by on Apr 19, 2009 in as we live it, scripture | 8 comments

This is the 50th passage in “Scripture… As We Live It“:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, by which I mean you should present a 30-45 minute lecture to the church while everyone else sits quietly and learns from your study. (2 Timothy 4:1-2 re-mix)


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  1. 4-19-2009

    For those that are accustomed to a different style of preaching, which style seems to work best? Why?

  2. 4-19-2009


    You pretty much encapsulated the existing truth here on planet earth where institutional Christianity is concerned. Because most people sitting in church pews on Sunday do not study for themselves.


  3. 4-20-2009

    So help us out, what does that verse really mean, if it doesn’t mean “preach a 30-45 min message” to the church…

  4. 4-20-2009

    Jason, not to speak for Alan, but I think the real key is not the length of the message but the model where one person speaks and everyone else listens, week after week. I have always been a big fan and a praticer of verse by verse expository preaching but I have come to recognize that if one man does all the studying and preaching, and everyone else passively listens, that it is unhealthy. Unhealthy for the one doing all of the preaching and unhealthy for the passive recipients.

  5. 4-20-2009

    This is partially in response to Jason’s question, but also just a general observation about this verse:

    “Preach” does not even have to mean “give a speech” in this context. And “the Word” is probably not the 66 books we call the Bible.

    What we really have here is much simpler. Paul is simply telling Timothy to proclaim the message of Jesus — the true gospel — vs. the “unsound” doctrine that he mentions afterwards.

    I also think that Paul’s mention of “evangelist” a couple of verses later sheds light on the context of Timothy’s proclaiming of the Gospel. To see Timothy as a senior pastor of a church as in today’s structure is not warranted at all by the text.

    To read modern ecclesiology back into this passage is eisegetical.

  6. 4-20-2009


    It is funny how we always scream of exegesis but come to text with no exegesis at all. Word does not equal 66 books, preach does not mean an expository sermon behind a pulpit, and finally these instructions are not to “pastors”. However are minds are already made up about the text so we read into what we so experience! Exegesis? Yeah right.

  7. 4-20-2009


    The point here is not to say that a “30-45 minute lecture” is wrong (although I do think it is unhealthy if this is the only teaching method and if it is always from the same person when the church meets). Instead, it is to point out that the term “preach” does not specify this particular method. However, “as we live it” – that is, in the modern church today – this is how it is usually interpreted. My suggestion is to look through the Greek version of the OT at how the terms kerusso and kerygma are used there.


  8. 6-11-2009


    Now that most of us non-Luddites are no longer restricted to a sermon length that matches the length of a cassette tape, a compressed mp3 burned onto a DVD allows us much longer sermons. Will we take advantage of this? Paul preached till midnight, you know. We’re so lame…. 🙂