Western is committed to a “renewal through reformation and revival” agenda. We are laboring to train leaders who can effect positive change by bringing a classic, robust evangelicalism to bear upon the contemporary scene.
Western Seminary stands in the great tradition of the Reformation, embracing the five solas. The solas of the Reformation are at the heart of the gospel centered transformation taking place among our students at Western Seminary. There’s not sufficient time to address each one of the five solas, but I’d like to touch briefly on Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
On its surface, this passage looks like it means that one’s eternal salvation is determined by one’s acts of compassion. Whenever we help the disenfranchised and the downtrodden of society, our entrance into heaven is all the more assured. On the other hand, as I heard one famous teacher describe it, Jesus will turn away at the final judgment from self-identifying Christians who failed to help the poor during their lifetime, saying, “I don’t want to hear it!”
What if we encouraged those in the pew, as we should in the classroom, to adopt a far more active stance? Imagine a church where the expectations for learning were far higher. People are not expected to simply take things in–but figure things out.
What is essential for a great preaching? Some say creativity, others story-telling, others cite the use of powerful metaphors, and still others point to the ability of a preacher to connect a passage to one or two practical applications. While such things are not inherently bad, it is my conviction that more important than any of these is one’s underlying approach to preaching. And, of the various approaches to preaching, I am convinced of the supremacy of expository preaching.