Home > Polemics > The Problem with Polemical Preaching

The Problem with Polemical Preaching

Here is an interesting article found at the Gospel Coalition Website. Many today believe that the minister’s main job is to call out every false concept found in the ministries of other men. While we are to defend truth, nonetheless many build their entire ministries around this concept. I have visited blogs and websites that do nothing but expose the errors and false doctrines of groups or other ministers. Yet these websites never give a proper presentation of the gospel themselves. God has not only called us to refute error, but also to feed his sheep. This ‘feeding of the sheep’ occurs when we present the truth of God’s Word by giving a proper presentation of what the scriptures teach concerning the gospel and the doctrines that we as Christians ought to believe and live by.


There are many ways to impair a sermon and muffle a ministry. Unsuspecting pastors have been doing it for centuries. One such way is by means of polemics. Polemics, strictly speaking, is a strongly written or verbal argument against another position. Polemical preaching then would be a sermon that goes after a particular practice or doctrine held by another person or institution.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones called polemical preaching “thorny.” On the one hand, preachers can go wrong by being too weak, not adequately refuting the error of those who contradict sound doctrine (Titus 1:9, 2:15). On the other hand a preacher can become consumed with calling everyone and everything out. We now have ministries, churches, even websites that seem to build their identity on their reaction to error. After all, we live in a time that some have called the most undiscerning period in history, which means some preachers will undertake polemical preaching and ministry. But defending truth against error is only one part of faithful preaching. The question is not whether there is a place for polemical preaching but whether someone can do too much of it.


Read the entire article here.

  1. February 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

  2. February 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Good point, good word from the wisdom from Martin Loyd Jones. It’s that concern for imbalance that our blog started to feature outline series that build up and not just tear down and that our focus on Christian worldview is not just to refute but also a positive construction of Biblical theology and practice

    • February 18, 2014 at 3:20 am

      Amen. I enjoy your blog very much. Keep up the good work; especially the book reviews and presuppositional apologetic links.


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