Friday, September 26, 2008


Reverend Todd Wilken's Sermon Diagnositc:

Reverend Wilken has a simple diagnostic tool to guide sermons and chapel messages. I've shared this tool with many people because it's simple, effective and powerfully reveals what we all need: the cleansing righteousness we receive through Christ's death and resurrection.

Wilken's sermon diagnostic:

1) How often is Jesus mentioned? Now just because Jesus is mentioned doesn't mean the Gospel has been proclaimed but if Christ isn't mentioned then the Gospel surely isn't being preached.

2) When Jesus is mentioned is he the subject of the verbs? Who is driving or performing the verbs? If Jesus is not driving or performing the verbs, who is? The Gospel is what Jesus does for us. That can only be stated when Jesus is actually performing verbs. Jesus cleansed our sinfulness. Christ forgives our sins. Christ proclaims us righteous before God. The Savior appeased God's wrath by sacrificing His life.

3) What are the verbs Jesus is performing? Is Christ modeling, motivating, empowering? This isn't the Gospel. Christ models perfection. That's beyond my original-sin tainted existence. Preaching Christ crucified means preaching that Christ forgives, cleanses, declares, pronounces, proclaims, saves.

Why is this diagnostic important to use? Luke 24: 46-47

Attribution Note: I used Reverend Wilken's article, "A Listener's Guide to the Pulpit" taken from the Issues Etc. Journal as my resource.

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