les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Expository ministry

The other day I re-tweeted (!) this quote from my good friend Guillaume Bourin who I have never met (I have lots of friends like that...)

"There is a serious lack of basic Bible knowledge in France generally" - Jason Mandryk. Please pray for us : we need expository preachers.

This morning the Gospel Coalition website has these articles :

Needed - exegetes for Italy and The biggest problem facing Italian churches.

I am sure that France has nuances that distinguish it from Italy as well as similarities. Mussolini ? 1968 ?

Last night I was thinking about the whole "We need expositors" thing and realised that while that is true, it is deeper than that.

You can't just send a Bible expositor to a town in France and expect it to work like in the UK. It's not just that French history is different from the UK's. French CHRISTIAN history is different from the UK's.

I was converted at 19. But within two years I'd read Schaeffer (of course), Berkhof, Gresham Machen, Bunyan, Lloyd-Jones, Stott, Candlish, and sundry other cracking books from four centuries of mature Bible reflection that France never had. Not only the books, but also the churches I attended were sat at the peak of all that heap of reflection and development. Everything is different. Everything. Songs and hymns. The percolation of reformed reflection through literature and music etc (witness PD James' book titles for a glib illustration).

France never had that. So we don't just need expository preachers, we also need expository hearers and an expository environment for all that to go on. It's an enormous task.


gethin said...

Très true, and vachement well put.

Larry said...

Oh how I have missed the word vachement. I think you're right to say it's not just a problem unique to France in Europe. Germany and Austria also lack a history of expository listeners/preachers. witness the youth pastor at my church who said to me last night that he wasn't scared of preaching expositorily at our church as he thought people would be bored...