Why I Object to Screen Preaching

Over at The Gospel Coalition, Christopher Ash gives “Two Invalid Reasons” and “Two Valid Reasons” for his objections, in his post titled “Why I Object to Screen Preaching.”


Two Invalid Reasons: 1. “The first is downright worldly: envy. It’s never crossed anyone’s mind to suggest I should preach to several congregations via screens because, well, my preaching is not of that quality.”  2. “The second invalid reason is cultural conservatism: I don’t like it because I’m not used to it. In the same way, I don’t really like using an electronic diary; I use one, but it feels wrong.”

Two Valid Reasons:  1. “The first kind concerns the congregation, the assembly. It’s generally better for a church to have a preacher physically present with them… What’s more, the preacher cannot teach and preach authentically without loving people. And love involves the desire to share not only the gospel but also his life (1 Thess. 1:8).”

2.  “The second kind of reason concerns the authenticity of the preacher. Paul wanted the church in Ephesus to see Timothy’s progress in godliness (1 Tim. 3:15-16). Paul himself wanted churches to imitate his life insofar as he was Christlike (e.g. 1 Cor. 4:16; 2 Thess. 3:9), and he could only say this because he had been physically with them and hoped to do so again.”  (entire post here)

1.  As a preacher, personally, when I’m preaching, I like to look people in the eyes, while I move from left to right and so on.

2.  In the second “Valid Reason,” I too like that authentic touch of the preacher.  You know–being there in person, face-to-face, in the flesh.  I like to see people’s reactions.  I like to greet and speak to people as they leave.  There is something special about that.  But of course, I’m speaking here of a smaller church, not the mega ones.

In the end, I really don’t see any “valid” biblical or theological reason(s) to object to screen preaching.  However I’m aware that I cited above appeals to the theological example of the incarnation.  But I think this is a stretch.  Just me.  To quote the Apostle Paul,

“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”  (Phil. 1:18 NIV)

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3 Responses to Why I Object to Screen Preaching

  1. R. Mansfield says:

    If a person attends a church and the pastor doesn’t even know who he or she is, can that pastor actually “pastor” that person?

    For me–and this is just me–I never want to belong to a church that’s so big I cannot go to lunch every now and then with my pastor if I want to.

  2. thirst4god says:

    Love this and agree totally

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