Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A quote from Doug Pagitt's new book

15. Centralized control
At the heart of the resistance to progressional dialogue as a legitimate method of preaching is the question of control. The speaching act allows for the preacher to not only to control the content, but also to apply the sermon to people’s lives. In basketball there is an expression for a person who does everything on the court: get the rebound, dribble up court, and shoot. This person is called a ball hog and no one likes having one on the floor.

Is it possible that this kind of phrase could apply to pastors who do all the studying, all the talking, and even have the gall to think they can apply the message they created to the lives of other people? In this setting there is little for the hearers to do other than decide if they agree or not. It is possible that we have, through the practice of speaching, created a culture in churches where agreeability is the necessary posture of our people? And if this is so, does it serve the gospel well?


The Gig said...

Ummmmm -- interesting thought provoking post. I'll have to think on that one before I comment.

Kim Traynor said...

Pagitt is an interesting guy, but how far can you take this idea? What is he recommending? And what the heck is progressional dialogue?

I don't think that agreeability is the necessary posture in most protestant churches because most of us are not living under the priestly system. We are required to respect and serve the leadership of our church (the teacher and all the leadership) but we are not required to just smile and nod. The reason we have this autonomy is that we know the teacher/pastor is not our link to God, Jesus Christ has made that link available to each of us and the Holy Spirit seals the deal.

On the other hand I agree that it is inappropriate for the pastor/teacher to become a ball hog. I think that humility and an open mind is required in any field. Nobody has the corner on the market of truth and a pastor who doesn't know that is setting himself up for some major embarrassment.