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The Place of Pastoral Wisdom in Application (Part 2)

To what extent should sermon application be guided by personal experience, observation, and common sense?

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This is part two of a two-part series. To read part one, click here.

Would you say we have been looking at basically two categories of authority—the definite or the maybe?

Ramesh Richard wrote a series of articles in Bibliotheca Sacra about application. He said within certain texts there are statements we can directly apply. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." There are other passages we can draw implications out of, and there are still other passages that the best we can do is extrapolate.

With "Thou shalt not commit adultery," the direct application is easy. Don't commit adultery. An implication of that would be the sanctity of marriage. In other words, work on your marriage—that's a legitimate application of the passage—work on your marriage to make sure it's fulfilling and you don't wander physically or emotionally or spiritually. If I were to make the application, "Never go out to a lunch or dinner with a person of the opposite sex alone," that would be an extrapolation. ...

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