I had an ah-ha moment this afternoon. You know that moment when a mental puzzle piece finally falls into place. I thought I would share it here briefly. I love my dad, but his teaching ministry is so different from the Calvary Chapel tribe. He is extremely practical. Daily application along with concrete steps is one of his highest priorities. He is always on the lookout for wisdom principles that can help people do life in a way that glorifies God. He was a lifehacker before such a thing existed. He has written half a dozen books about family life and speaks around the country at conferences and ministry events. My wife has said, and I agree with her, that my dad has the gift of wisdom.
But his teaching style is so different from most Calvary Chapel pastors. And I have wondered where his style and emphasis fits within the variegated call of God to preach.
When I read this quote from Zack Eswine it was like it finally clicked.
"Notice that wisdom speech possesses a missional capacity. Like the prophetic and priestly paradigms, God’s Word for the wise is true and absolute. But unlike the prophetic and priestly literature, the roles of the exodus or the covenant are not made explicit; they are assumed. Wisdom remains covenantal but carries a “generic” ethos. The wise do not require one to possess an up-front understanding of God as Israel’s redeemer in order to meaningfully learn about God. They hold to the law and promises of their fathers, yet they offer instruction without explicit reference to Abraham, Moses, or the exodus. Familiarity with the Bible is not, therefore, required for one to access the sayings, stories, and speeches of the wise. The stuff of life rather than the stuff of redemption as a starting point enables those unfamiliar with salvation history to access the message." - Eswine, Zack. Preaching to a Post-Everything World
This is taken from chapter 8 where he is talking about the preacher’s ministry be based upon the sage-like material of the Old and New Testament. In essence, Eswine is saying that wisdom principles can carry the water on gospel truth for nonbelievers who have not yet been persuaded of the whole gospel.
And this is exactly what I have seen in my dad’s ministry. He has offered free parenting classes to the community as an outreach to the community. These classes have served as a communication bridge that the gospel can also be carried across.
It is genius and now I know where it fits.
[Here is a video interview that he did regarding his latest book.]