It might sound ironic at first, but I really like it whenever I'm asked to preach or write and the topic is assigned.
For one thing, being assigned a topic saves me from the sometimes-agonizing question: So what exactly will I speak (or write) about? It's already decided. They're expecting to hear from me about that.
Something else. Of the better things I've ever come up with, many were the result of an assignment. I have a theory about why. I think it's because, whenever I pick the topic, it's something I think I already know about. Now, it's true that I do know something about a few things. The only problem is, when I select a topic that I think I already know about, I don't begin to search. Instead, I simply try to figure out how to say what I think I already know.
The result? Not much digging. No new discoveries. No trying to figure out a thing for myself. None of the excitement that comes from a fresh insight. Just trying to convey what I think I know. It feels like I'm taking something out of the freezer and tossing it in the microwave. "Ding!" Ready to eat?
I'd much rather serve and eat a home-cooked meal made of fresh ingredients. And that's more often what I come up with whenever I start with an assigned topic. So I'm happy that I was recently asked to deliver lessons (about 30 minutes each) for these titles:
1. The Sovereignty of God
2. Christianity as Counter Culture
Now I want your help. Would you name one or more biblical texts to go with each title?
Also, can you name something else--a book or an article or a movie clip or anything--on these topics that you think I should know about?
Thanks for any feedback. I always like hearing from my blog buddies.