Holy Joys Podcast

Moralistic Preaching, David and Goliath, and Seeing God’s Glory in Christ

July 06, 2021 Johnathan Arnold
Holy Joys Podcast
Moralistic Preaching, David and Goliath, and Seeing God’s Glory in Christ
Show Notes

In this episode of the Holy Joys Podcast, Johnathan Arnold and David Fry discuss moralistic preaching and related themes:

  • Moralism in the Pelagian controversy
  • Monergism vs. Synergism
  • God as the initiator of all good
  • Human cooperation with grace
  • Premodern exegesis and the fourfold method of interpretation
  • Examples such as David & Goliath and the Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness
  • Transformation through seeing God's glory in Christ
  • Preaching as putting God's beauty on display

Quotes from Fry:

  • Moralism comes down to a Christological problem.
  • Probably the most glaring example of moralism is the “God will do his part if you do your part” mentality.
  • Wesleyan Arminians are often considered to be synergists, but that can come out as “God does his part when we do his part,” and that’s not good.
  • God is always the initiator of anything good—anything good in the world, anything good in me, any change of character for the good, is the product of the “God who works in us to will and to do.”
  • Many Christian sermons are no more Christian than what some motivational speakers in some conferences might say.

Quotes from Arnold:

  • It’s one thing to affirm that victorious living comes from Christ; it’s another thing for our Christological convictions to shape our approach to the text, our preaching and teaching, and our emphasis.
  • Those with a moralistic tendency tend to be genuinely concerned for the transformation of Christians. But 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us how we are transformed: by seeing Christ.
  • We don’t want people who just conform to a list of rules; we want people to be changed. So moralistic preaching doesn’t even accomplish what some are setting out to do. It doesn’t accomplish real transformation because it’s more focused on us than on Christ.

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