6 Challenges for 21st Century Preachers

June 1, 2009

Thanks to Andi Naselli for bringing this to my attention:


I just noticed that the following article is available online:

D. A. Carson. “Challenges for 21st-Century Preaching.” Preaching 23:6 (May–June 2008): 20–24.


I have visited many parts of the world in which the challenges to the 21st-century pulpit look rather different. So part of the purpose of the rest of this essay is modest: to stimulate thinking that will help others flesh out this list and modify it for different cultural locations.

Six challenges that DAC fleshes out

  1. Multiculturalism
  2. Rising Biblical Illiteracy
  3. Shifting Epistemology
  4. Integration
  5. Pace of Change
  6. Modeling and Mentoring

Concluding Reflections

Preachers cannot responsibly ignore these things, for they stand between the speaking God and the listening people—people who are not empty ciphers but culturally located men and women who must be addressed where they are, even if our hope and prayer is that they will not remain where they are, but begin by God’s grace the march down the King’s highway, the narrow road that leads to life.

Our motivation to understand and address people in the 21st century is not to domesticate the gospel by constant appeal to cultural analysis, but to prove effective ambassadors of the Sovereign whose Word we announce. For one day the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever (Rev. 11:15). It is precisely because we are anchored in eternity that we are so utterly resolved, like Paul, to address lost men and women who must one day meet their God.

Read the whole thing.



  1. Hi Collin!

    Thanks for linking this! Now a few more Spanish-only readers can enjoy and think about this challenges Carson brings up front for our consideration.

  2. […] Colin Adams via Andy […]

  3. DA Carson rocks! This is great stuff!

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