Sound Doctrine, Sound Words – Phil Johnson

Sound Doctrine, Sound Words (Part 1)

This morning I want to look at two verses in Titus 2—verses 7-8. This is an admonition from Paul to Titus, his friend, partner, protege, and true son in the faith. Titus is one of the unsung heroes of the early church—a young pastor whose faithful support and constant behind-the-scenes labor made him extremely precious to Paul. Paul writes to Titus with these instructions (Titus 2:7-8): “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

I chose that text, frankly, because I’m deeply concerned about the tendency of so many pastors lately to employ profanity, crude and obscene words, vile subject matter, carnal topics, graphic sexual imagery, erotic language, and filthy jokes. Most of you, I know, are aware of the trend I’m talking about. I’m tempted to call it the pornification of the pulpit. The justification usually given is that coarse language and sexual themes are the tools of contextualization. It’s a way to make us sound more relevant. Lots of voices in the church are insistent that this is absolutely essential if we want to reach certain segments of our culture. ….

Sound Doctrine, Sound Words (Part 2)

One more thing about contextualization. (I spoke on this subject at last year’s Shepherds’ Conference): If your approach to contextualization is designed mainly to make you fit comfortably into a pagan culture—then you have an upside-down view of what Paul meant when he spoke of becoming all things to all men so that he might by all means win some. …

Sound Doctrine, Sound Words (Part 3)

There are two kinds of profanity every Christian needs to avoid. One is what the Bible calls foolish and filthy talk—coarse, obscene, smutty words that usually make reference to private bodily functions. The other is every kind of irreverence, ranging from that which trivializes sacred things to the full-on blasphemy of using the Lord’s name in vain.

Scripture is not silent on such things. These are not gray areas. Blasphemy is a grievous sin, and that includes all kinds of flippancy when we use the Lord’s name or talk about that which is sacred. Do a study of the third commandment and pay careful attention to all the things Scripture treats as a misuse of the Lord’s name. Once you understand what the Bible says about flippant irreverence, if you’re not compelled to eliminate every kind of joking about sacred things, you must have a heart of stone. …

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