Monday, October 13, 2008


I don't usually single-out one sermon that I've preached that I think you must listen to. In fact, I would never be so presumptuous as to think that any of them or worth your time. I only offer them over insofar as I feel compelled by God to share the messages. Hence, if I go through the process of preparing and preaching a sermon, I obviously feel as though God is wanting me to share it.

With that huge caveat, I want to invite you to listen to the sermon I preached this last Sabbath. I believe that one of our greatest challenges today is religious plurality, and especially Christian plurality. Many Adventists do not feel as though we have a special mission, and that we are just another denomination - just like one of the hundreds of channels on your DirecTV system.

But Jesus has no room for plurality. And this is something we must grapple with if we are to maintain the authority of scripture in our lives. I was fascinated by some interesting parallels between Jesus' day and ours, and so I would invite you to download my sermon (and listen to it) "Mere Adventism: The Big Give," which is available here. And, as another reminder, you can subscribe to all my sermons, via podcast, by clicking here.

Your feedback would be welcomed!


Anonymous said...

First, some advice: I know it might be uncomfortable, but you don't need to offer excuses for asking readers to listen to one of your sermons. Just ask, and be done with it!

So I did listen to your sermon (three times, if it matters), and I do have a thought. People belong to different churches for different reasons, and for many people "the truth" isn't one of them. I know people who have left their church traditions for another, because in the new tradition they found life. And isn't that what Jesus is offering? Living water? Eternal life? He spoke to her heart, and she responded.

(and in the fine print here at the bottom, here's a speaking tip (and you may have already noticed it if you listened to it again): don't overuse words unless you're trying to make a point. Even then, exercise caution.)

Shawn Brace said...


Thanks for all of your thoughts. They are very helpful.

First: thanks for reminding me to not make excuses. I guess I am just so paranoid about any hint of arrogance or conceit, that I go too far. I am quite aware of this.

Second: I don't know if I implied in the sermon that the only reason a person joins a church is because of "the truth." I do believe that this must be an extremely important reason for joining such a church. But I think my story at the end kind of showed (or at least I hoped that I showed) that God's true people are those who display His loving character to anyone and everyone (and, as I said, His loving character is revealed in those bits of truth we as Adventists believe in apart from other denominations).

And, lastly, no, I did not listen to this sermon, but I'm sure I did repeat/overuse words quite a bit! I have noticed that a time or two before when I've listened to myself speak, and it is something I'm cognizant of. I type out a manuscript, but I do not follow it closely, and I obviously don't read from it, so that's when I get into trouble. Could you give me an example of a word I was overusing? I noticed that I like to use the word "reality" a lot. "The reality is . . ." I like to say. That's probably some subconscious aversion to truth and reality that I have.

And, by the way, responding to your comments from my other post: yes, I do have a sense of humor. In fact, I may try to be funny too much, which sometimes gets me into trouble.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

No, you didn't say that. But in your post you said that "Jesus has no room for plurality."

So on the one hand you seem to want to draw a line based on the SDA version of the truth, and on the other...well, I'm not sure what you've got in that other hand.

Sometimes joining a certain denomination can be a boon to one's spiritual life. Sometimes it's death.

Word for the day: "startle."