Wisdom from Azurdia on Spirit-empowered preaching and the greatest need in evangelicalism

Taken from an interview on The Exiled Preacher.

On Spirit-empowered preaching:

GD: What do you mean by Spirit Empowered Preaching? [The title of Art’s book, published by Mentor, 2007 – see my review]. AA: I mean a kind of preaching that possesses a vitality from another world—a clarity, authority, immediacy, and efficacy that is authored by the Spirit of God.

GD: How may we seek God’s empowering presence in preaching?

AA: Firstly, we need to connect our preaching purpose to that of the Holy Spirit’s purpose. His aim is to glorify Jesus Christ through the means of the Scriptures—the Christocentric Scriptures. Therefore, I must be resolutely wedded to His intention in the sacred text: explaining the text in its context, applying the text as was originally designed, and displaying its inner-canonical connections which will lead me to Jesus Christ.

Secondly, we need to pray for that which only the Spirit can supply: potency to transform the human heart.

Thirdly, we need to be willing to suffer. Why? Because the apostolic pattern seems to indicate that God’s power is perfected in weakness. Are we willing to be weak so there are no competitors for glory when God does what only He can do?

Beyond this, of course, we must remember that Spirit is sovereign. “The wind blows where it wishes.” Anything that smacks of a formula is sure to quench the Spirit rather than arouse His empowerment. This is the occupational hazard of the Christian ministry.

On the greatest need in evangelicalism:

GD: Sounds like a good book. What would you say is the biggest problem facing evangelicalism today and how should we respond?

AA: I think I’ve already mentioned this earlier. And, of course, it must be kept in mind that my response reflects the limitations of my own cultural (i.e. American) context. In my mind, the most significant problem facing evangelicalism today is that evangelicals are assuming the Gospel—and, because of this, I fear we are a generation away from discarding it altogether. The reasons for this are many: the legacy of the seeker-sensitive movement with its emphasis on pragmatism, the rise of postmodernism, theological preaching that lacks the evangelical priority, et al.

How should we respond to this? Christocentric preaching and teaching! Christocentric ministries! We need to pray for a generation of pastors who will be: 1) courageous enough to disregard popular ministry methodologies that undermine the Gospel; and, 2) consumed enough with God’s glory to cease measuring success by the numerical size of a congregation.

Read the whole thing.


About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
This entry was posted in Art Azurdia, Biblical Theology, books recommended, Evangelicalism, preaching. Bookmark the permalink.

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