Preaching can be biblical without being balanced, without being biblically balanced. Biblical balance is extremely difficult to achieve because the preacher is so liable to imbalance. Factors which cause imbalance include:
- The preacher’s personality: happy or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, introvert or extrovert
- The preacher’s experience: the preaching he heard growing up, his conversion, professors, present trials
- The preacher’s models: the kind of preaching he is listening to
- The preacher’s preferences: academic, historical, practical, devotional
- The preacher’s gifts: may be very talented teacher but a poor evangelist
- The preacher’s fears: if I preach this then so-and-so will get mad, leave, etc.
- The preacher’s isolation: detached from the people, he becomes detached from real life.
A preacher is riding 18 see-saws all the time! He must balance between:
- Old Testament and New Testament
- Teaching Christians and evangelizing the unconverted
- Young Christians and old Christians
- Churched unbelievers and unchurched unbelievers
- Old and young – different concerns and language
- Conviction of sin and free offer of the Gospel, law and Gospel
- Challenging the hypocrite and comforting the trembling believer
- Narrative, doctrinal, practical, devotional parts of the Bible
- The different persons of the Godhead
- Ancient truths and modern life
- Biblical illustration and modern illustration
- Heaven and hell, promise and threat
- Textual exposition and thematic teaching
- Calm/quiet/slow and passionate/loud/urgent
- Indicatives and imperatives
- Helping to live now and preparing for eternity
- Respecting tradition and reformation
- God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility
How can you help the preacher achieve biblical balance?
1. Prayer: He has so many difficulties to overcome and so many balances to achieve.
2. Patience: Don’t judge him on one sermon but over a period of weeks and months. Sometimes he may have to be unbalanced to correct a problematic imbalance in the congregation.
3. Persuade: If imbalanced over the medium-to-long-term, try to gently and calmly persuade him.