Joe Thorn has a quote from John Piper regarding relevance that says:

As a preacher, I think a lot about relevance. That is, why should anyone listen to what I have to say? Why should anybody care? Relevance is an ambiguous word. It could mean more than one thing. It might mean that a sermon is relevant if it feels to the listeners that it will make a significant difference in their lives. Or it might mean that a sermon is relevant if it will make a significant difference in their lives whether they feel it or not. That second kind of relevance is what guides my sermons. In other words, I want to say things that are really significant for your life whether you know they are or not. My way of doing that is to stay as close as I can to what God says is important in his word, not what we think is important apart God’s word.

John Piper, What Man Does in the New Birth

here are a couple more bits from later down in John Piper’s sermon:

My job as a spokesman for God week after week is to deal in what matters most, and to stay close to the revealed will of God in the Bible (so you can see it for yourselves), and to pray that, by God’s grace, the young, idealistic, angry Clarence Thomases in the crowd, and everyone else, will see and feel the magnitude of what God says is important.
Nothing is more important than the glory of Christ personally seen and savored in the kingdom of God with as many people as we can gather in his name. And it will one day fill the earth with peace and justice as the waters fill the sea. So I hope you don’t leave—for the sake of your soul and the sake of the world.

Now go check out the comments to Joe Thorn’s post. The tug of war is always present, isn’t it?


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