Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Question of the Week #7

Welcome to the seventh edition of "Question of the Week"...please answer in the comments OR write a blog post of your own and leave me a link to your answers! Feel free to borrow the graphic as well.

Do you like listening to sermons? Have you ever subscribed to sermon podcasts? Have you ever listened to sermons on the radio? Do you have any favorites?
What resources (if any) have you found on the web that you'd like to share?

My answer: I like listening to good sermons. For me, these just happen to occur outside the church. I know some people are blessed to have good preaching (and teaching) within the local church they attend. But for others, it's just a dream. For the record, I'm defining 'good' as biblical preaching. Preaching that relies on the Word of God. Not stories. Not anecdotes. Not analogies. Not allegories. Not urban myths. Not jokes. I happen to like expository preaching. That is where there is the Biblical text presented and the preaching is centered on that text. It is illuminated (in many cases) by other Scripture texts. Your definition of 'good' might be different.

I don't listen to radio sermons anymore because I've found podcasts. Before the internet made things easy on me, I was listening to two or three radio programs. Truth for Life with Alistair Begg. Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul and Grace To You by John MacArthur. I also liked listening to Key Life with Steve Brown. The problem often was that with a radio schedule, you'd either have to program your life around those shows--problematic when you're going to school or working--or you'd have to try to program your stereo to record them. Which the question would then be, how do you find time to listen to them later.

I subscribe to more than a handful of podcasts now. I'm subscribed to Bethlehem Bible Church. This is by far my favorite and my best. I have been so blessed by listening to these sermons. I really just heart this church. If only they were in Texas! Oh, well.

Others include Desiring God by John Piper, Grace to You by John MacArthur, In His Grip by Charles "Chuck" Better, Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul, Truth for Life by Alistair Begg, White Horse Inn by Michael Horton.

I also subscribe to my sister's church The Village Church. That one is in Texas.

If you're looking to try out podcasts for yourself, then I'd recommend visiting OnePlace.com.

I will say this. Sermons aren't all created equal. You should listen attentively, but with a critical mindset. Like the Bereans, you should evaluate and weigh each based on how it stands in light of the Bible. It can sound good and right...but is it really? Context, context, context, context. As my great-grandma used to say...anything can be 'proven' if you use enough dot-dot-dots. Some minisitries will have a belief statement (or two) that can clue you in on what's what.

As to finding time to listen to all these, that's a whole different story! Sometimes I am in the mood to listen to sermons--like yesterday, I listened to ten sermons by Chuck Betters. A sermon series that begins off with six sermons entitled, "Is Your Child a Darth Vader?" Something that definitely intrigued me though I don't have kids :) (Other sermons in the series (so far) include Standing Alone, The Eight-Fold Gospel Your Kids Need To Learn, and Do Your Kids Love the Church.) But other times I'm distracted (tempted) by music. Say listening to Abba and the Partridge Family.


Soozie4Him said...

Interesting talk about sermons and podcasts! We happen to be blessed by an awesome teaching pastor in our home church. His name is Colin Smith and he's from Scotland - not only is his content fabulous, but his accent is interesting to listen to as well! He's doing an amazing series on Jonah right now - you can find it on oneplace.com here:


We love our sermons by Pastor Colin! I think you can even watch them on this website!

moot96 AT aol DOT com

Amanda said...

I have been incredibly blessed with an amazing Pastor and a wonderful church here in New Mexico. It's actually probably the only thing I will truly miss when we move this summer. Our Pastor's teachings every Sunday and filled with great lessons, points of impact, and a contemporary vibe that allows me to compare God's word to my own life NOW, an aspect that I know realize is vital to my enjoying a church sermon.

When we do move, while we're on our search for a church in VA, we'll be listening to our Pastor's podcasts. Even though we can't physically be in his church, we can still hear the message God is sending through him.

Maureen Kopper said...

This is a real coincidence! I was looking for bloggers' comments on "Finding God in the Shack" and I came across your blog, only to see my church's name listed as one of your favorite podcasts!

Yes, I go to Bethlehem Bible Church in Massachusetts, and it is great! Pastor Abendroth is a wonderful expositor of the Bible. I am so glad to read that you really like to listen to him!


Becky said...

Susan, I've listened to Colin Smith in the past. :) And I've listened to a few of his series.

That's great, Amanda. And I'm glad you'll still be able to listen to the sermons once you move. It must be a comfort to know that you'll still be connected in a way.

Maureen, welcome! I'm glad you dropped by! I do love BBC :)

Sherrylinn said...

My answers are here Becky:


hopeinbrazil said...

A really wonderful godly preacher is Mark Van Valin of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church. I used to get his sermons via iTunes, but now I have to download them directly from the church's website. Worth it!

I know there is a lot of good stuff out there, but it's hard to sift through. Thanks for the recommendations.

sally906 said...

I don't attend church - my husband is not a Christian. I never thought to listen to a podcast :)

When I did attend church I found that I worked well with pastors who illuminated the Bible and used humour and love to get the message across. Pastors who yell at me and thump their fists turn me off.

Becky said...

I agree with you mostly, Sally. But...I think every once in a while--maybe once or twice out of 52 weeks in the year--a good "come to Jesus" meeting is in order. I agree that it would be uncomfortable and unpleasant to hear that week in and week out though. There's a time and place for everything after all :)

I agree that there are a lot of preachers out there. And it's not just 'famous' preachers that have podcasts...more and more churches--regular, ordinary, local churches are offering podcasts. It can be overwhelming. But once you've found a couple you enjoy listening to, it really is worth the effort to download the sermons and listen to them!

Thanks for sharing the link, Sherrylinn