Expositional or topical--How many of you could spot the difference between expositional preaching and topical preaching? The former seeks to unfold Scripture, in total, through the preaching of the word. A pastor comes to a passage and explains, or exposits, what it actually says. John Piper is one of the best representatives of this approach today. Topical preaching tends to address a specific topic, like marriage, and go to the Bible to search for supportive texts. The Willow Creek approach fits this style. I am a big fan of expositional preaching as I believe it is the most accurate way to allow the Bible to transform us rather than leading us to consform the Bible to our own needs. With that said, I think that Jonathan Leeman wrote a wonderful article creatively cautioning pastors to approach expositional preaching with an eye toward relevance. He asks the question, " Connect the dots for me. How do I get from justification by faith alone to being a manly man who cares well for his aging parents?" Or as my friend Mark would say, "so what?"
The Driscolls on sex--There is a new book due out next year by Mark and Grace Driscoll called Real Marriage. It will doubtless sell in the millions. I'm not sure I will read it. I think Mark Driscoll is a gifted teacher and I have learned a ton from reading and listening to him. He does push the envelope though and I think sometimes too far, but I suppose Driscoll would say that is because, I am "older, from a highly conservative background, live far away from a major
city, do not spend much time on the Internet, or do not have cable television." Considering that background, I think that Tim Challies, who not incidentally wrote a book on Spiritual Discernment, raises appropriate cautions about this book, rightly grounding them in Ephesians 5. (Fair caution,even this cursory review by Challies may be a bit much for some readers).
Four hours of apologetics--Reclaiming the Mind has 4 free hours of apologetics training materials, which are normally sold for a cost, on their website. It may be worth checking out.