A possible hypothesis for what seems to be the disconnect between what the Church of the Nazarene has always presented in its official statements as to its understanding of biblical truth and how it should be understood, and what many in the CotN have understood to be our positions, is the difficulty in presenting deep, nuanced, biblical scholarship from the pulpit.
Even the simplest, most basic scholarship - that learned by undergraduates at any of our colleges and universities (for example, noncontroversial authorship issues - such as of the Penteteuch and Isaiah) are surprising to many of our people.
This is not meant to be a conversation to argue some scholarship issues, but to think and share about the most effective ways to communicate biblical scholarship from the pulpit. In asking to consider this, I am assuming:
1. That many of our preachers have learned some aspects of biblical scholarship - which of course can be debated considering the various levels of ministerial education,
2. That the pulpit is an important - and possibly the most important - means of communicating truth from the preacher to the people,
3. That the primary purpose of preaching is not simply to teach, but to preach, and therefore preachers are not using a lecturing teaching method when in the pulpit,
4. That some of the content of biblical scholarship is not only important for our people so that they can "read the Bible for all it's worth," but also to find common ground within the CotN and the broader Wesleyan family.
So, all that being said, what is the best way for a preacher to take important, nuanced, biblical scholarship and place it "on the bottom shelf," accessible to her/his people, as part of the preaching ministry?