Coming to Grips with the Authority of Christ
We must come to grips with the authority of Christ and live accordingly.
From the editor
Donald Sunukjian is a master at making a text come alive for a congregation, carefully and memorably pointing out all the details that matter. Watch as he skillfully explains the meaning of key words, draws from Old Testament texts, and pushes the audience to consider the context of the passage at hand. And notice, too, how Sunukjian handles application. His trademark style is at work here: He introduces a number of scenarios at the beginning of the sermon—scenarios that leave the audience wondering what the person should do, not do, say, not say—that he then revisit at the end of the sermon. These scenarios are just general enough—and just specific enough—to speak to just about everyone in the audience. It's a wonderful approach to preaching!
Babe Ruth was the great home run hitter for the New York Yankees baseball team. During one particular at-bat, the umpire, Babe Pinelli, called Ruth out on strikes. There was a stunned silence in the stands. Ruth turned to Pinelli and said, "There are 40,000 people here who know that last one was a ball." Pinelli replied, "Maybe so, but mine is the only opinion that counts."
We live in a world of thousands of opinions. Whose opinion counts? Who has the authority that matters? There are experts in every field imaginable, some of whom say conflicting things. Who do we look to as our authority?
Is global warming threatening the planet? Or is it a hyped-up scare tactic to serve special interests groups? Who's the authority that really knows?
Should we compassionately take steps to provide health care for every American? Or would that increase our national debt to the point where it might cripple our future? Which is true? Who really knows?
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Donald Sunukjian is Homiletics Chair and Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.