The Attraction Of Legal Preaching: The Interview

Abounding GraceAs a follow-up to the post on legal preaching Chris Gordon and I sat down in the Abounding Grace Radio studio to talk through the issue of the attraction of legal preaching. Once again, neither the post nor the episode is a criticism of the proper uses of the law. The law is good and holy. The law must be preached in all its fearsomeness in its first use and for all its benefits to the Christian in its 2nd and 3rd uses. Once more, anyone who denies the third (normative) use of the law is an antinomian and outside the bounds of Protestant (Lutheran and Reformed) confessional orthodoxy.

This discussion, however, concerns the improper use of the law or the misreading of Scripture and the abuse of the pulpit wherein every sermon becomes effectively a law sermon and where believing people are effectively put back under the law (covenant of works) for acceptance with God.

Here is more info on AGR. Here’s the episode:

Thanks for listening.

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One comment

  1. Scott hi

    Thanks, and I have just listened to your AGR discussion

    You point to the legal preacher as having failed to appreciate the first use of the law, and therefore the gospel.

    He will of course say he is doing no such thing; that he is preaching the normative use of the law.

    What would you say is the distinctive feature separating correct preaching of the normative use, and its abuse – ie preaching the first use as if it is normative. Hopefully it is not just a subjective question of emphasis, of how much gospel had been preached before the normative use?

    What do we say if one hearer says that was a good ‘convicting’ normative-use sermon, and the other says that it was legalistic?

    There is presumably the danger of setting up a straw man – the legalistic preacher who does not preach the gospel, whereas more powerful but subtle legalistic preaching can be strong on the gospel but still wrongly apply the ‘so therefore..’

    Grateful for any help on this most meaty issue

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