Saturday, July 25, 2009

What Year Is This?

The following bullet points where written to express the common hindrances to preaching in this age.  Your assignment is to tell me what year this came from and you get 3 bonus points if you can tell me who said it.  Some of the language has been changed to veil the time period.

  • The expansion of media access…which minimizes dependence on the local preacher and enables less attention to be paid to the preacher’s authority in the community.
  • Skepticism, suspicion and doubt…higher critical skepticism challenging the claims of the Bible…human reasoning becoming more of a trusted authority.
  • Shorter attention spans due to the frenetic pace of culture…
  • A renewed attention to rhetoric, eloquence, and scholarship for respectability in society
  • An increased preference for artistry over sermons…as other forms of art are sought to counteract the decline in church attendance
  • Time demands hindering sermon preparation and communion with God.  Pastors felt that they were spending their time doing everything other than prayer, preaching, and care for the people. 
  • The plagiarizing of sermons arising as a needed relief from the demanding pace of ministry.

I will cite these as soon as someone guesses the correct answer. 


  1. nope,
    but i'm sure most all of those things were true in Luther's day as well.

  2. One of the Church fathers: Ireneus, Polycarp, Augustine...?

  3. David,

    Good guess but....WRONG!

  4. Well, the two wrong guesses were my first two, so I'll go with my third. The mention of "higher critical skepticism" suggests a date in the nineteenth century, so I'll guess Charles Spurgeon.

  5. Oh, and for a year, how about 1868.

  6. Milton is our winner....not quite correct on the date...but he guessed Spurgeon and that's correct. The information comes from Zack Eswine's book Kindled Fire. Year is 1892....

    There really is nothing new under the sun..



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