One of the great counter-balances to Pagan Christianity is preaching and teaching through books of the Bible. When we preach and teach through the books of the Bible and force ourselves to deal with the text as it is written and in the sequence in which it is written, we guard against proof-texting and against our propensity to cater to our preferences and to the popular appetites of people.
In the Early Church Fathers we see pastors preaching and teaching through books of the Bible. In the Reformers we see pastors teaching and preaching through the books of the Bible. The mission of these men was to mold their people into the image of Jesus, it was not to allow themselves to be molded into the image of the people for the image of the people will always be the image of the prevailing culture and the prevailing culture will always be opposed to the Bible.
We cannot preach the Bible if we do not preach the Bible and topical preaching as a steady diet is simply not preaching the Bible – for how can we preach the Bible if we don’t present the Bible as it is written? This is why topical preaching, to address certain immediate questions or crises, must be viewed as exceptional and dangerous – exceptional because it must not be the rule and should therefore been seen as an exception; dangerous because it can be seductive to the preacher – it can tempt the preacher to do it again, and again, and again – because then the preacher gets to choose what he is going to preach and then the preacher drives the bus, the preacher drives the agenda, the preacher drives the thinking…and not the Bible. We can stand before congregations and pray that people will see Jesus and not us, but if we are not submitted to the Biblical text such prayers are disingenuous.
One of the great defenses against Christian Paganism is preaching and teaching the books of the Bible; then our hearts and minds are molded with Biblical thoughts and patterns with Jesus Christ and His Cross always our North Star, always our beginning and end. The Scriptures are our fortress, our place of refuge in Jesus Christ.
We cannot preach the Bible if we don’t preach the Bible.