Out of Context: John Beukema

"Ultimately, every text is about God. To focus constantly on the how can subtly influence our perspective of Scripture. For example, the awe-inspiring scene from Isaiah 6:1-4 should probably not become a sermon on 'How to Meet with God.'"

-John Beukema is pastor of King Street Church in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Taken from "When Sermons Are too How-to" in the Fall 2006 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

November 30, 2006

Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Richard

December 03, 2006  6:08am

I have to admit John, that Isaiah 6:1-6 is somewhat subdued in my imagination by the fact that I know that the same God resides within me by His promise and His work. All the awe of this good creation... the overwhelming abundance of scientific, metaphisic and spiritual roadsigns of Him in whom we live, move and have our being in, radiate our Heavenly Father's sentence " I love you." To hear the "I love you." in the center of our being that was taken captive by the work of the cross and brought into realization, by the Love of our desire for Him that was brought about by Him... gently forces us in accepting this constuctive giver/reciever/giver relationship to advance this only " I love you." to mankind "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." by the life He is in us. There is the work of God embelished with the fact of Faith, experienced by some as God is the God of sacrifice... that is, He is for others... His others. It is through "others" that we experience how greatly we are loved and how greatly we can love, and of course God is Love. We have what we aways desired and wouldn't want anything more because there is nothing greater than having a personal relationship with the ultimate reality of 1John 3:1 "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it–we're called children (children, young men, fathers) of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to." The work of the shed blood of Christ Jesus is the pinacle and foundation of all that can be described, it is a work unknown to angels but lavished upon mankind. His love takes us out of the bondage of fear and makes us joyfully glad that He created us for His pleasure. The "special effects" God uses in descriptive language, for good use, in scripture to get our attention on Him is further elaborated by Jesus in His often used description of Himself... " Son of man."

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Andy Rowell

December 02, 2006  12:55pm

Well said. Is this Isaiah 6 event paradigmatic for worship? What I mean is - should we expect Isaiah 6 everyday in quiet time? Another example: should every worship service be just like the day of Pentecost? Hmm . . . yes and no. Ah, hermeneutics. There are principles that are constant. But we need to recognize that some aspects of the biblical narrative were more isolated events. This article reminds me of the classic Leadership Journal article by Haddon Robinson called "The Heresy of Application." I often remembered that phrase. http://www.ctlibrary.com/le/1997/fall/7l4020.html I remember one of the examples he gives is people who use Ruth to talk about how you should treat your mother-in-law when your husband dies. Yes, but the hermeneutics needs a bit more reflection.

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