Back when I was in college, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the Abilene Christian University Lectureship was in its heyday. Attendance was high, and the quality of teaching was excellent. Churches of Christ across a wide spectrum of our brotherhood supported the event.
It was a Wednesday evening lecture. I think I remember who gave it, but I’m not sure so I won’t name him. But I remember well the concerns he expressed. He felt that churches of Christ were getting soft in many doctrinal areas, and he placed the blame squarely on expository preaching. There were certain vital doctrines, he sustained, that could only be taught via topical sermons.
At that time, I thought to myself: “If it can’t be taught expositorily, it doesn’t need to be taught.” Though I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things over the years, I still feel that sentiment is accurate. If we can’t teach something supporting it with a full text, then maybe we aren’t teaching what the Bible says.
Is that going too far? Some, for example, might point out that some major themes can be present in an entire book, yet not be shown easily from just one passage. Others might argue that it takes many different verses to properly shed the light on a given subject.
What do you think?