Preaching That Opens Ears and Hearts
An interview with Haddon RobinsonSee theme
When you think of positive and negative preaching, what comes to mind?
Haddon Robinson: The primary emotional element of many evangelical sermons is guilt. People leave feeling guilty. Seldom do they leave feeling they have succeeded.
We can take almost any passage of Scripture and turn it into guilt. Although 1 Peter 1:3-4 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope," the emphasis of our sermon can be, "But your hope isn't as strong as it used to be, is it?" Instead of leaving people with great hope and desire, we keep raising the bar beyond where people can jump.
The problem is people do not change much from guilt. It's not a good motivator.
If guilt is so ineffective, why do we use it?
Many people come from homes where they were seldom affirmed by their parents, or at least by their fathers. They can't remember a time when their fathers took them aside and said, "I think you're great. It doesn't matter to ...