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What is the Fallen Condition Focus?

May 8, 2008

Matt asked this….

Bryan Chapell’s answer:

[The] FCF is a human problem or burden addressed by specific aspects of a scriptural text, informed preaching strives to unveil this purpose in order to explain each passage properly. Obviously, there may be more than one way of stating the purpose for a text since the biblical writer had various mechanisms for stating or implying his purpose. There may also be a variety of purposes within a specific text. Still, a sermon’s unity requires a preacher to be selective and ordinarily to concentrate on a Scripture passage’s main purpose. The FCF determines the real subject of a message because it is the real purpose behind the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of a passage. Ultimately, a sermon is about how a text says we are to respond biblically to the FCF as it is experienced in our lives — identifying the gracious means that God provides for us to deal with the human brokenness that deprives us of the full experience and expression of his glory.

So the issue raised in the introduction could be anything from ‘human loneliness’ to ‘how to evangelise a hostile audience’ to the problem of our ‘guilt’ before God. Anything that results from our fallenness. This includes our sin, obviously, but can also include other negative effects of the fall (ie. loneliness results from the fall but is not necessarily a sin; it is a consequence of our alienation). The remainder of the sermon seeks to then address the issue raised, and in this way ‘front loads’ the application.

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