The ultimate irony is that we as pastors and teachers often contribute to their state of spiritual fatigue. It's nothing intentional; we simply want to help apply God's word to their lives. So we fill every sermon with good Biblical principles: four strategies to improve your prayer life, five keys to a healthy marriage, three ways to be more loving, etc. All of this is helpful information, but imagine the long-term impact in a person's soul when they know they haven't come close to mastering last week's application points, and now they are getting three more to add to their list!
The article is about much more than this, and much of it is good. But I think the problem is far deeper than this. This preaching of ‘strategies, keys, and ways’ can very easily become non-theological. And what the church most needs now - as always - is theological preaching.
There have been times and places in the history of the church when application and ‘exhortation’ were done separately - sometimes by a different speaker - from the teaching. Today the problem often is that we have all application, and no theological foundation for that application.
Often, what is wrong with the church is found in the thinking of its members. People do not really understand the Christian faith. When that is the case, there can be no hope for living it.
As long as sermons are focused on ‘strategies, keys, and ways’ the church will continue to be sick in many ways. Theology, in it most full and Biblical sense, is the cure.