Everything is new under the ‘Son’

In the early days of our new life in Christ my wife and I attended a church where most of the preaching was done by a band of ‘local preachers’. These men and women served the several churches of that denomination in the area. One Sunday, a fairly elderly preacher arrived and announced that he would be preaching from Ecclesiastes 1:9. I confess that I don’t remember much of what he said, but I am pretty sure that it lived up to its title, ‘There is nothing new under the sun’. But I do remember the sermon he preached just three months later.

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On that occasion he mounted the steps of the pulpit, opened the Bible, and in a ponderous tone announced that the title of his sermon was, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ He then proceeded to preach the exact message he had delivered a few months before. He certainly made his point very effectively, although I am sure that this was not his intention.

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Preachers who preach at many different churches often polish up a small selection of messages, which they use repeatedly. This may result in a finely constructed sermon and a very professional presentation, but misses an essential element – immediate relevance. In my view preaching is ‘prophetic’ in that it is a way God speaks to His people. This implies that a sermon should be to a specific people in a particular place and at a specific time. In other words, preaching should be ‘new’.

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I joined that team of local preachers a few months later and resolved, right at the outset, that I would seldom, if ever, repeat the exact same message, even in different venues. I also decided to keep a record of every sermon preached with a note of the date, place and text. I concede that the texts we preach and the truths they contain are ageless but the way we unpack and apply them should not fit the ‘nothing new under the sun’ rubric. When it comes to proclaiming Jesus Christ then surely we can say that ‘Everything is new under the Son!’

Picture of Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.