Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Edward F. Markquart on Mark 9:30-37

I have decided to review multiple sermons on Mark 9:30-37. The previous sermon was by Rev. Cwirla who is a Lutheran minister in the LCMS, which is the denomination I am a part of. This sermon is by Edward Markquart, a Lutheran minister in the ELCA. The ELCA is theologically more liberal than the LCMS and I thought it would be interesting to see how this affects the preaching. I will use the same method of evaluation that I did in reviewing Rev. Cwirla's sermon.

1. Does the pastor explain the text correctly? No. The lectionary reading is Mark 9:30-37 but the pastor seems to think that he is preaching on the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World" and various pictures associated with that song. Some of what the pastor says is true but the message of the pastor is not the message of the text. Christ's crucifixion is explicitly mentioned in the text but this is not even commented on. (-1)

2. Is the Law preached lawfully? No. There is nothing within the sermon that would convict me of my sins. The preaching of the law is vague. What should be preached as Gospel is preached as a sort of light form of the law. The law in the sermon is basically "Be like the kid and sit in Jesus' lap" and provides examples of organizations that are successfully fufilling the law to love the children. (-1)

3. Does the sermon mention Jesus? Yes. The sermon does mention Jesus and does not teach anything that is false about Jesus although it does leave quite a bit out that is found in the passage that is true. (+1)

4. Is the sermon about what Jesus has done for us? There is no talk at all about the crucifixion that is mentioned at the beginning of the passage. We are told that Jesus holds us but the focus of the sermon is on examples of people who fufill God's law. (-1)

5. Does the creation of a Wordle show a Christian focus in the sermon? Yes. Jesus appears largest. (+1)

Wordle: Markquart on Mark 9:30-37

So the grand total is -1. If the score were converted into a percentage it would be 40%. The current standings are:

Cwirla 100% A
Markquart 40% F

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