Before I become labeled heretic and seeker friendly, first let me say that preaching is necessary and biblical. I put the subject titel as an attention getter. I don't literally we should have less preaching. Men throughout history since creation have been set apart by the Lord for the purpose of proclaiming something of His heart. John the Baptist preached, Jesus preached, and the apostles preached. HOWEVER, despite the necessity of preaching, I find in our day, particularly in the West, a stronger emphasis on preaching than dialoguing. Much of what Jesus and the early church did (besides preaching) was discussing. Jesus sat down and ate with sinners. The apostle Paul "reasoned" from the Scriptures with the Jews in the synagogues. In Acts 17 we find Paul reasoning and discussing with people in the marketplace daily. I believe it is godly to dialogue with the world. We must not compromise the truth or water down the Gospel, but we must still heed the words of James to "be swift to hear and slow to speak". Street preaching is great, but sometimes it isn't necessary. Sometimes we need to take someout out to eat, or sit down and talk to them to see what it is they believe. I think many street preachers struggle with this. They tend to be more "swift to speak, and slow to listen". But remember, as wicked and corrupted as the lost man is, he still bears the stamp of God's creative work upon his life and he deserves the respect to be heard. So in a nutshell, yes we need the prophetic preaching. But I believe we need more "friends of sinners" as well.
Hi Mattie,I can get the gist of what you're saying, but I have seen upfront the extreme of where discussion and dialogue leave the place of objective truth absent. It's ok to share ideas in a Christian setting, as long as they are brought under the authority of an objective standard - scripture. Otherwise, an atheist/agnostic can express their views and could be counted as an equal on a purely subjective basis.With open-air preaching, I can understand your concerns. Living in a postmodern age that accepts relativism and a pluralistic view of religion, to stand up and proclaim the gospel to be absolute in nature is immediately counter-cultural. Then again, look at Paul's preaching to the Athenians and the riot of Ephesus.
Intercessr,Like I said, in no way should truth be compromised or the gospel watered down. I just mean listening so we can know how we can proclaim Christ to the hearer in a way they will understand. Jesus was the Master at this. But to proclaim in a way they will understand, we have to know where they are at. I believe unless the Holy Spirit gives a directive to preach on a street or publicly proclaim something, nothing should be said because it can be more harmful then helpful. All of the occasions where John the Baptist proclaimed publicly, Jesus, and Paul were situations where God opened a door and gave the leading to do so.