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R-Rated: Preaching the HARD Texts of the Bible

4 tips to preaching the challenging parts of God's Word.

R-Rated: Preaching the HARD Texts of the Bible

I love the Bible. And I love getting to teach it. Maybe I am weird, but I really love the hard parts of the Bible. There is something that happens, first within the heart of a pastor, and then within the heart of the congregation when challenging texts are on display, especially texts that are not "culturally acceptable."

I have a confession to make: I brought the Crossroads Family through the entire book of Leviticus at the rate of about a chapter a study. Shocking, isn't it? I decided to subject the congregation for half a year to me preaching through the "graveyard of many read-through-the-Bible attempts." I decided that we needed to deal with all that was in that great and inspired and terrifying text. And we did. Our mid-week gathering grew in the process. People wanted to hear and understand the Word of God, and they appreciated the fact that their pastor wanted to wrestle with one of the most challenging parts of God's Word with them.

So I want ...

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Displaying 1–5 of 5 comments

thomas cohoon

July 24, 2015  7:17pm

Good thoughts on an avoided passage.

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Ruth Cannon

July 22, 2015  5:51pm

Excellent points, thanks for the motivation!!! Preach it Fusco!!!

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Stephen Pierce

July 22, 2015  5:41pm

Great Advice!

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Rev. David L. Hatton, RN

July 20, 2015  4:06pm

What's really tough is when false cultural assumptions held sacred by the church need Scriptural correction. Routinely seeing female nakedness in hospital work as a bivocational pastor\RN sent me back to find if Scripture validated the lack of sexual stimulation I experienced with normal, nonsexual nudity. To my surprise, I discovered that we've been reading Victorian prudery back into the Bible (eisegesis). In biblical and early church history, the shame of nakedness (literal or metaphorical) was the shame of having clothing removed by poverty or coercion. Our modern eisegesis led to redefining biblical "modesty" from "displaying humility" to "hiding skin." Even worse, the church's "sex-focus" promoted a "pornographic" view of the body as a sure foundation for a porn-addicted society. The fallout from this false allegiance is that, at the sight of nudity, we exclaim, "Sex!" rather than, "Wow! The fearfully-and-wonderfully-made temple of the Holy Spirit!" Sexually objectifying the holy, gender-distinctive body language designed by God has led to a pornified, promiscuous, gender-confused culture where human sex-trafficking is rife and adequate Christian sex education is rare. Instead of worrying about how hard it would be to preach prophetically against the modern porno-prudery of God's people, we need to tremble at the prospect of the Lord's "Why did you corrupt the naked embodiment of My image?" (

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Greg Hollifield

July 20, 2015  2:37pm

Great advice! Thanks, Daniel.

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