Sunday, April 2, 2017

Preachings that Cut to the Heart to Change Life - Learning from Tim Keller

The purpose of any preaching is to change the behavior and the life of the listeners with the Biblical truths through touching their hearts. Tim Keller gave us six ways to engaging the hearts. Ancient Chinese wisdom also tells us to touch the heart first to get reasonings to be accepted and thereby causes a change in behavior.
This post is my learning from the sermon of Tim Keller in Preaching to the Heart « TGC | The Gospel Coalition. Here is the mindmap ...

Preaching to the Heart by Tim Keller Mind Mapped by Lim Liat 

  • Contents

    • the truth, not just your opinion - expository preaching.
    • the good news, not just good advice- Christ-centered
    • to make the truth real to the heart, not just clear to the mind.- application

  • Purpose

    • Biblical Truth touching the heart to cause changes in behavior & life.
      • the truth - Gospel 
      • to cause the listeners to apply the truth and be changed 
      • preaching changes people not from your information but from the feeling they get when listening to you.

  • Mind & heart/feelings

    • Greeks - heart-emotion, passion/body is evil. Mind to manage the heart to be good
    • Modern - Heart is good so do the things that the heart one. follow the passion
    • Bible heart - the things we trusted most
      • pro 3:5-6 trust in the God with all your heart
      • Matthew 6 where your treasure is your heart
    • the heart is not primarily the emotions but rather the seat of our fundamental commitments and trusts, and therefore it is the control center of the whole life.
    • So to preach to the heart means to go right for the commanding commitments of people's lives that drive their desires, thinking, feeling, and action.

  • Methods

    • The universal principle is found in Acts 2:37—preaching must “cut to the heart.” The means and methods we take to get to that end depend on the listeners' culture.
    • 1 Culturally
      • culture is a collective heart. It is a set of commanding commitments held and shared by a community of people. e.g. Keller's cosmopolitan culture of Manhattan. This ethos is pulling on the hearts of all its residents. It is the source of so many of their deep aspirations, unspoken fears, and inner conflicts. The Culture has a set of values that may contradict the Bible
      • Our hearts are set by the cultures we are in.
      • The “cultural references,” then, are simply Keller's way of entering the world of his hearers, helping them understand at a deep level what is shaping their daily work, their romantic and family relationships, their attitudes toward sex, money, and power.
      • Need to make plain the foundations of the city's culture in order to help people understand themselves more fully and imagine what it means to live as a Christian here.
        • e.g. Teenagers, "I don't see anything wrong with two people having sex when they love each other."
          • cultural narratives
            • love -> sex
            • identity- be yourself -right or wrong is up to you
            • I have no right to impose my values on others
          • Must Show Christianity has a better offer and the held belief is incorrect
        • Liat:preach to
          • connect to the hearers' culture
          • to bring out the wrongs e.g. UGB Ungodly Beliefs, the past hurts and bad experiences.
          • corrected by the truth of the Bible
          • how to live a Christian testimony within
    • 2 affectionately 
      • emotional transparency
        • not plain reading through a text
        • not excitable & emotionally charged - working too hard to be passionate
          •  cannot fake true authenticity. Such is manipulative.
        • § preach from the heart to preach to the heart
          • need in-depth knowledge of the topic
          • prepared with prayers and the gospels
    • 3 imaginatively
      • use illustrations and stories
      • make it feel more real
      • get across vividly - like something you experience
      • e.g. J Edwards: all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock.
      • Gen 4:7 God warned Cain - sin crouching at your door. it desires to have you
    • 4 practically - application
      • ask questions that relate to a real life issue.
      • e.g. what's keeping you from sharing the gospel with your neighbor? Is it pride? 
    • 5 wondrously
      • fairies tales - Deep Desires of People
        • escape time
        • escape death
        • hold conversations with non-human 
        • perfect love that never parts
        • good triumphs over evil
      • Jesus' gospel is exactly that! It fulfills all the deep desires of people and it is a fact!
    • 6 Christocentricly 
      • preach Christ from every text
Ancient Chinese Wisdom on Touching the Hearts

See The Chinese Ways of Influencing People and for a more detailed guide 

A related topic to preaching is sharing the Gospel, see Pre-Evangelism or Conversational Evangelism. It is all about touching the hearts and earning the right to speak and be listened to. 

The purpose of preaching is not just about sharing the truth. Preaching the truth, sharing of information, at the very most, only engage the mind and gets mental assent. It does not cause any change in the behavior of the listeners. The real purpose of preaching is about changing behavior and life, and that is possible only through understanding the hearts and touching the hearts of the listeners with the grace and truth of the Bible. Please follow the six ways recommended by Tim Keller and also the details steps of the Ancient Chinese Wisdom to be an effective preacher.

Lim Liat (c) 3 April 2017

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