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R-Rated: The Importance of Preaching R-Rated Texts

Preaching the R-Rated texts helps us preach the whole Bible.

R-Rated: The Importance of Preaching R-Rated Texts

I'll admit I was fighting mad. I was so angry, in fact, that I was forced to recite the Beatitudes to myself over and over to calm down. And the worst part was, what had me so worked up was a Sunday school lesson.

A curriculum used by many evangelical churches sent out word to teachers before Easter that, not to worry, the Easter lesson would be non-violent. Children, after all, it was explained, cannot handle the gruesome reality of crucifixion. The theme of that week's lesson, then, would talk about resurrection without talking about death. Children would be told that Jesus is our "forever friend." He went away for a little while, and his friends were sad, but soon he came back and everyone was happy. How, I wondered, could we share the gospel with children if it is a gospel without a cross?

The truth is, though, many preachers face the same temptation on any given Sunday. Now, most of us are nowhere close to preaching the life of Jesus without crucifixion. We ...

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Matthew Woodley

July 28, 2015  3:30pm

Dear Anonymous "*" Guy: Thanks for the comment. We appreciate the feedback. We intentionally made Dr. Moore's article limited in scope. We weren't trying to take into account the "moral culture of the OT context" as it relates to preaching what we've dubbed "R-rated" texts. We hope some of the other articles in our series start to delve into that matter. Dr. Moore's short article was primarily a primer for WHY we should preach on these texts, not an exhaustive cultural background analysis with detailed instructions for how to preach on all of those texts. For that, I would recommend Paul Copan's book Is God a Moral Monster? or God Behaving Badly by David T. Lamb. Matt Woodley, Editor, PreachingToday.com

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RAMON Osorio

July 28, 2015  8:57am

I like that Dr. Moore did not deal with specific R rated texts (great idea for a book), but instead he gave us a solid and clear hermeneutical principle to use as we come face to face with those texts.

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Donald R Clamser Sr

July 27, 2015  7:25pm

If we dont explain it so they understand it while they are young then when they get older they may not accept the truth. The important thing that they need to remember that Christ died for their sins and believe it and the sins of everyone.

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David Savage

July 27, 2015  5:50pm

I agree with the author that we cannot just select only the sweet passages on the Bible to read, preach and digest. Sometimes it is a matter of timing which is to say that some people are not yet ready for the whole truth. However, we must as teachers bring our brothers and sisters to a point where they can see and feel clearly that God's approach has a purpose that is often transcending to our understanding and where we are at a point where we can accept the teaching as God's will. The people have to know what is to follow before they can accept the hard truth of God's way. This takes time, perseverance and loving leading. Selective? Yes - only in timing. As Paul says when we were babies we were fed baby food, but as we grow in the word, we are able to take and understand the whole hard truth. We can then take it, chew on it and feed on it knowing that it is God's word and truth and we can be thankful that from our side of the cross, we can see the purpose and result in Christ

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*

July 27, 2015  12:04pm

most unsatisfying treatment -- the author mentioned difficult texts but failed to deal with them in a manner that took into account the moral culture of the OT context. We know the cross was a gruesome event where wicked people killed Jesus but many of the Old Testament passages are stories of the people of God committing atrocities.

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