Preaching Without Reaching

The Irrelevance of Relevant Preaching

by David Mills

As a writer, I do not believe in relevance. I especially do not believe in relevance as a criterion for preaching, when that means the attempt to translate the biblical and theological language into words the average man already uses, from fear that he will not listen if the inherited language is used instead. Few preachers are good enough with words to do this without losing truths they should not be losing.

Let me give one example. A friend once praised a sermon warning against both legalism and licentiousness, vices he thought too little rebuked from the pulpit, but worried that such . . .

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


David Mills has been editor of Touchstone and executive editor of First Things.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

27.2—March/April 2014

The Rights of Aphrodite

on C. S. Lewis & the New State Paganism by W. E. Knickerbocker

31.6—November/December 2018

Tragedy & Transcendence

on Futility & the Open Door to Deliverance by Patrick Henry Reardon

29.5—Sept/Oct 2016

The True Atheist Myth

on Past & Present Atheism & the Invention of Happiness by Jordan Bissell