Ur Video: John Piper Says Video Hurts Preaching

Everyone knows that John Piper believes in the supremacy of preaching, but what about augmenting the spoken word with video clips or dramas? In this short video Piper answers that question. Here's an excerpt:

"I think the use of video and drama largely is a token of unbelief in the power of preaching. And I think that, to the degree that pastors begin to supplement their preaching with this entertaining spice to help people stay with them and be moved and get helped, it's going to backfire.... It's going to communicate that preaching is weak, preaching doesn't save, preaching doesn't hold, but entertainment does."

Piper concludes as only he can–by making light of the issue with laughter while still invoking the possibility of eternal damnation. He says:

"Nobody is going to go to hell because of this...in the short run."

July 28, 2009

Displaying 1–10 of 63 comments

Glen Quiring

June 22, 2010  9:59am

Some may call this self-referencial incoherence.

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Jeff Keck

August 12, 2009  1:51pm

On the whole I have to agree with Pastor Piper. I personal find no harm in an occasional video clip being used. However, I do find that the "church" is moving steadily into an entertainment mode to present the gospel (Black out theater lighting, drama, and I Love Lucy Bible studies.) If we capitulate to worldly pragmatism and current trends we will find ourselves marginalized.

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Mike

August 09, 2009  12:07pm

1. God is the transformer. Not a pastor preaching. God uses great preachers every day as well as horrible ones. 2. Brain research shows that lecturing alone is a very poor way of communicating. Facilitated discussion is by far the best medium for retaining content.

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Jojo Bive Jr.

August 08, 2009  4:16pm

I love the preaching of John Piper but i dont ascribe to him infallibility on his personal preferences. If John is correct on this one, then thousands of those who have been saved on the Jesus Film, are going to hell. They have been entertained not preached at. Wow! Many of these films have reached millions of people than all theologians like John Piper combined. So, when Jesus said, "Look at the birds...lilies of the field..." There should be an added footnote there, "But don't look, just listen...this is not entertainment. Solomon said, "Consider the ants..." To Jeremiah God said through a vision, "What do you see..." Even God now is at fault because God used visuals to communicate his message. After all, preaching shouldn't be dramatic. The burning bush is a sham to preaching because God drew Moses' attention to it and visuals are entertainment. Hahahaha...i wonder whwere is theology in all of it. Oh by the way, visions and miracles are banned too by Piper. They are no longer biblical.

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Jojo Bive Jr.

August 08, 2009  4:13pm

I love the preaching of John Piper but i dont ascribe to him infallibility on his personal preferences. If John is correct on this one, then thousands of those who have been saved on the Jesus Film, are going to hell. They have been entertained not preached at. Wow! Many of these films have reached millions of people than all theologians like John Piper combined. So, when Jesus said, "Look at the birds...lilies of the field..." There should be an added footnote there, "But don't look, just listen...this is not entertainment. Solomon said, "Consider the ants..." To Jeremiah God said through a vision, "What do you see..." Even God now is at fault because God used visuals to communicate his message. After all, preaching shouldn't be dramatic. The burning bush is a sham to preaching because God drew Moses' attention to it and visuals are entertainment. Hahahaha...i wonder whwere is theology in all of it. Oh by the way, visions and miracles are banned too by Piper. They are no longer biblical.

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nathan

August 07, 2009  12:55am

Dorian, no worries. disagreement aside, i hope your days are peaceful.

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Dorian of the Cross

August 07, 2009  12:10am

"but this is what so many of your leaders do...elevate their preferences to sacred mandate." I see no part of this video where Piper has done such a thing, he simply expressed his OPINION. You on the other hand in your disagreement with Piper see him elevating his preference to sacred mandate, yet... Sacred Scripture does support his position. As for the emergent remark, perhaps I was more than a little out of line, please forgive me, it was a rough morning.. I am Sorry nathan and Nathan... there is two of you right?

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Ray Rodriguez

August 06, 2009  10:51pm

Letus see if any of this Piper's preaching and our modern video's teaching tallies with these: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent."20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish?21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching.22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom,23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. My usual advice to fellow workers is that your message should explain the Word and apply it with apt illustrations. But it should not be about illustrations without the exposition of the Word. I think if videos are just illustrations-then it would be fine as per Paul's guideline. And yes the message of the preacher should be about Christ and him crucified.

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nathan

August 06, 2009  12:35pm

wow. so reasoned disagreement (as seen here) with mr. piper amounts to the denial of absolute truth and the capitulation to whatever feels good? i mean, when you throw out the "emergent" label in the face of disagreement, that's what your argument starts boiling down to. and that's not what's happening here...

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Dorian of the Cross

August 05, 2009  9:50am

"Is it "emergent" to disagree with people who elevate their preferences to universal absolute?" No... it is Emergent to deny there is an absolute truth and do what feels good...

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