Back to NewsJanuary 2012
Bible College News: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?
Few theological lectures begin with a question of this nature. However, this morning Dr. Mark Johnson initiated the ninth annual Dr. Joseph K. Pinter Lecture Series reflecting on the works of his mother rather than the works of his former theology instructor, Dr. Joseph Pinter. Nonetheless, he did recount that during his days at Appalachian Bible College Dr. Pinter was not “one of the theology professors, he was the only theology professor.” So what does Sunday dinner have to do with theology?
First, concerning the question, Dr. Johnson’s intentions quickly became clear as he provided the subtitle, “Feeding the Flock of God with the Word of God.” The initial question provided visually what was lacking spiritually. That is, the appropriate theology or appropriate philosophy for proclaiming God’s word.
The answer was provided in the following minutes as Dr. Johnson revealed the historical slope of leaders and books that diminished God’s Word as authoritative, inerrant, and inspired. Then, turning our attention to II Timothy 2:16-17, listeners were reminded of God’s power through His Word as it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” Why? “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Finally, the call to cook communicated the value and importance of expository preaching on a Sunday morning, in order that the preacher would return to the “Sunday dinners of the Word.” Drawing from Dr. Haddon Robinson, Dr. Johnson defined expository preaching and provided three practical tips for re-establishing “Sunday dinners.”
- Planning—he regularly witnessed his mother planning ahead, be it a grociery list, Saturday preparation, or early meat bastings Sunday morning. The preacher of God’s Word must plan. An example is his own practice of studying for and outlining messages for six months in advance.
- Discipline—a variety of examples of discipline are evidenced in his own life. He dedicates 20 hours to the study of God’s word every week and takes one day every six months to plan for the following six months.
- Love—drawing from the Bible scholar Warren Wiersbe, “It is not enough for the minister to love the truth; he must love the people to whom he ministers.”
Dr. Johnson restated the definition of expository preaching as, “telling people what God said.” Unquestionably, a good Sunday dinner spiritually speaking is feasting on the words of God.