In a recent conversation a few friends of mine were talking about their favorite preachers/teachers so we all compiled a list of (mostly)1 contemporary preachers and teachers we liked and admired. Here’s my reply:
While I won’t dare to compile an exhaustive list, I will take my cue from Jeff and list a few favorite sermons by some guys I greatly admire (some of whom are pastors). Sorry, these guys aren’t as dynamic and energetic in most cases as Jeff’s list2 😉 but I’m sure yall will enjoy them all the same.
First, some one-hit-wonders3:
Excellent lecture titled “Telling the Truth in the Business World” where he describes, among other things, standing up for Christ in the world of corporate America. He has been/is the CEO of some pretty major corporations (like Adobe) and his stories are pretty inspiring as well as challenging.
Excellent lecture titled “Radical Marxist, Radical Womanist, Radical Love: What Mother Teresa Taught Me about Social Justice” where she describes her radical transformation from an extremely liberal worldview to a conservative Christian all while maintaining a strong focus and commitment to issues of social justice. Her testimony is absolutely amazing.
Has an excellent method of defending the lives of the unborn against abortion via a handy mnemonic device that uses the acronym of SLED.
We had the pleasure of meeting Dr Little when he came to our church in North Augusta for a conference on “God, Evil, and Suffering”. His teaching on such a touchy subject was extremely insightful. Since it’s something everyone in this world deals with, and the biggest objection to a Christian God, I think everyone should take time to explore this subject.
Now for some people you might just want to bookmark:
Os is a member of the beer-making family of the same name (which alone makes him worthy of note in my book) and a student of Francis Schaeffer (another awesome pastor). He has worked extensively in the academic and political communities and has
Dr. Craig actually lives here in Atlanta4 but speaks all over the world on a wide range of topics. He is known widely as the bane of atheists and in his many debates (literally hundreds) they (that is, the atheists themselves) only credit his opponents with a handful of marginal victories. One of his best lectures is entitled “Religious Epistemology” and while it is a bit heavy it is extremely useful in combating common “God of the gaps” and “religion is merely wish fulfillment” and “you can’t claim to actually know anything of a religious nature”
Greg’s lessons on tactics to defend the faith and never read a verse are things I wish every Christian would take to heart. He also co-authored a book with Francis Beckwith (another great Christian) titled “Relativism: Feet firmly planted in mid-air” which gives a great description and prescription for the current age and climate of our culture.
A Catholic philosopher who has a great lesson on ecumenism without compromise (even though I disagree, obviously, with his assertion about the Roman Catholic Church, his approach and focus on healing the body of Christ is, I think, spot-on). He also has many excellent lessons on CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien (particularly the Lord of the Rings saga). One of the best things he’s produced in my opinion, however, is a mock dialog he has with Socrates5.
Habermas can almost be compared to a broken record. All of his messages are about the resurrection and it’s historicity and even though that may sound dull and boring, he brings a considerable amount of scholarship to bear on the subject and manges to make it extremely interesting at the same time. Because of his narrow subject matter he manages to cut right to the chase and has been instrumental in convincing hardened skeptics like Anthony Flew that there is indeed truth to what the Bible (and we) proclaim.
One of the foremost Christian philosophers alive today. His material is extremely dense (just ask Beth) but it is also very useful in debate and edifying if you have any questions in the realm of “how do I know what I know” and “can anyone really know anything spiritual?” His series on “Warrant and Proper Function” is absolutely foundational to any study on epistemology.
Ken is a former NPR reporter who runs a ministry named “Mars Hill Audio”. He recently gave a great lecture at SEBTS on the comprehensive character of Christian discipleship (part 2) where he argues that we, as Christians, need to be more culturally aware and able to, as Isiah says, “understand the age”.
I think I’ll break it here and add more later, enjoy!
- I say mostly because there is an age gap in our group so some of the people listed I don’t really consider contemporary anymore 😛 but I digress… [↩]
- Since Jeff’s a bit of a charismatic, his list included some pretty lively characters. [↩]
- Not that these people haven’t done much, I simply call them one-hit-wonders because I haven’t found a lot from them. What I have found, though, makes me wish I could. So if you know of any more material from these people, by all means, let me know! [↩]
- In fact, he teaches a Sunday School class (The Defenders) at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Sadly, people don’t bust down the doors to get into his Sunday School classroom like they do Jimmy Carter. [↩]
- That I’m currently unable to find a link to for some reason… [↩]