Thus Saith Rick

Adrian Warnock must be running low on blog matter because he e-mailed me (yes: he e-mailed me -- I'm still a little stunned that I get an e-mail from a guy like Adrian) this link to his own blog regarding T4G article 4, including a quote from Rick Warren.

Let me say this: when we quote a guy like Rick Warren, we have to make sure he's doing what he says he's doing in his own quote, rather than just saying, "wow: that seems like a perfectly benign statement from someone the reformed blogosphere thinks is a kook."

Specifically, let's take one phrase from Pastor Warren in hand:
The only way lives are changed is through the application of God’s Word. The lack of application in preaching and teaching is, I believe, the number one problem with preaching in the United States.
That actually sounds pretty good to me, all things being equal. But, as in all real-life situations, all things are not equal.

So here's my challenge (to Adrian, or any reader who has an opinion): can you tell me the difference between exegeting Scripture to find application for the congregation and peppering a pep talk with verses of Scripture which seem to agree or amplify the point one is making?

See: I don't think I (or any of my friends at TeamPyro, or any of the men I admire and link to either permanently or from time to time) disagree that there is a real-time application of Scripture which the right-minded teacher of God's word must expound to his congregation. No question. The problem is when a pastor (for example, Rick Warren) will write a book or present a sermon in which he fishes through every kind of English translation to use Scripture like a magic 8-ball of apparently-Godly slogans.

It is one thing to preach through the book of Titus and never direct anyone's attention to Paul's exhortation of Titus to get people to teach rightly and how that relates to doing good works; it is another altogether to excerpt Titus 1:5 from the Message ("I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done") and apply that to mean that God wants men to clean up the messes their pastor makes. [Nota Bene: I am unaware that Rick Warren has ever done this specifically, so don't imagine I am accusing him of using this verse this way] Sound application of God's word requires sound interpretation of God's word and not an AWANA approach to the Scripture.