Category: Practical Theology

A Christ-centered perspective

In the article “A picture guide to good preaching”, one of the principles was that a sermon should be Christ-centric (or Christocentric).

Readers have asked us for more information on how to create a sermon that is Christ-centric. We have recorded a reading of the essay “Forgiveness – a Christ-centered perspective” to illustrate this principle in practice. You can read or listen to this essay to get a practical example of how to be Christ-centric.

We also have a second video example: “Aan wie se kant is God?” (apologies to our English readers – it’s only available in Afrikaans).  In this example, a few ways that people try to use the Bible to promote their own agenda (similar to the “kapstok preek”) are mentioned, and then, in conclusion, an excellent Christ-centric position is made.

We trust that these examples will help you to better understand the principle of being Christ-centric.

Lastly, there is also the “Saviour – Sermon” test: a test of whether a sermon is Christ-centric or not, is when the congregation’s response afterwards is “What a Saviour!” rather than “What a sermon”.

A picture guide to good preaching

A picture guide to good preaching

Pastor Frank Cronje, the previous principal of Auckland Park Theological Seminary (then it was still a theological college and not a seminary) met with my dad in the early 1970s and asked him to become a full-time lecturer and “to teach the AFM church how to preach”. This was oom Frank’s way of asking him to become the lecturer in Practical Theology. I was still a pre-schooler, but I knew that my dad was responsible to help students to become effective preachers and, in my mind, that was a huge task.

In those days the third-year students had to give a trial sermon for final evaluation in front of all the students, from first- up to third year. Those third-year students, who had already passed their trial sermons were allowed to critique the sermon, and right at the end my dad would stand up and give his feedback and whether the student passed or failed. I obviously never witnessed those classes, but I overheard many conversations between students and knew that this was a very stressful examination for them. Firstly, to preach with conviction to a crowd who is focused on identifying your shortcomings and then having everybody listen to the feedback. Yet, I have often heard of times when the whole hall met with God and were worshiping the Lord in tongues under the anointing of the Holy Spirit way past the allocated time.

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