Posted On February 6, 2016

Tony Reinke – Three Questions to Ask Before Listening to Any Sermon

by | Feb 6, 2016 | Apologetics, Biblical Worldview

It’s easy to become a passive sermon consumer. As a young Christian, I started to sense this tendency in my own sermon listening. One Sunday I brought a notebook to church and devised a simple little practice to get my discernment juices flowing before listening to sermons. It was as simple as asking three little questions, and it stuck with me. Over time, I began to use this same technique when listening to sermon podcasts, when reading Christian blogs and books, and eventually while listening to Christian music.

The process points to an important fact we all know: all of us need to be saved by someone or something. But, as an active listener will quickly see, the world is full of variant gospels, and every preacher, writer, and artist has a message of salvation. We must examine the veracity of the gospel they share, and these three questions have simplified the process for me.

Three Questions

So before I listen to a sermon, turn on a Christian album, or open a Christian book, I ask myself these three questions:

How am I saved?
What am I saved from?
What am I saved for?

The questions are short, easy to remember, and could not be bigger. At first I wrote them on paper and filled in the answers by hand, and later it just became an intuitive mental exercise.

It also became apparent over time that these same questions are useful in many other contexts. They are gospel questions, helpful inside the church. But they also help shakedown any worldview to its core essence. They work on advertisements and the messaging of presidential hopefuls (yes, even Donald Trump — try it).

Four Common Answers

For the sake of this article, I will focus on sermons. Ask the three questions above, and the answers you hear will commonly fall into these four categories:

1. You will hear a therapeutic gospel:

We are saved by becoming self-authenticated and affirmed.
We are saved from self-destructive negativity.
We are saved for self-confidence.

2. You will hear a prosperity gospel:

We are saved by faith that produces health and wealth.
We are saved from poverty and financial heartache.
We are saved to enjoy financial abundance.

Continue Reading

Related Posts

Four Traps to Avoid When You Suffer

Four Traps to Avoid When You Suffer

4 Traps to Avoid When You Suffer from Crossway on Vimeo. The 2 Kinds of Doubt As I thought about my own experience, I wanted to organize my thoughts and experience for others in these two categories of traps that every sufferer faces and the comfort that is offered to...

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God – Brian Zahnd (2017)

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God – Brian Zahnd (2017)

COMMENDING JONATHAN EDWARDS I will never forget a very special evening with a small group of Christ-followers at the McLean home.  My good friend, Don suggested that we read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards in one sitting – on our knees.  And...

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

A Common Challenge The tragedy of dementia is common and will become more so in the future. It is estimated that over 30% of the average church congregation will die with some form of dementia. That represents an enormous challenge in pastoral ministry. I would...

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 16-22 Jul 2017

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 16-22 Jul 2017

Apologetics Deb Welch – Difficult Passages Series: Judges 19 and The Gospel "We are all prone to wander and forget our True King and Redeemer. Our savior Jesus, who has written our names on his hands, has rescued us from the kingdom darkness described in Judges 19 and...

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 9-15 Jul 2017

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 9-15 Jul 2017

Apologetics Denny Burk – Standing Against a Destructive Misogyny Threatening our Children "The sexual revolution promised us more sex and more pleasure. It has actually delivered to us a generation of men who think of women as objects to be used and abused for their...

0 Comments

Share3
Reddit
Email
Buffer
Tweet