Albert Mohler has an interesting article on Preaching to Felt Needs. I initially found it at the Transforming Sermons blog. The article calls into question the almost assumed superiority of preaching to felt needs. Mohler quotes Will Willomon who believes that the Gospel is not merely to touch our felt needs, but it is in the felt-need changing business. If my felt needs are corrupt then I need my felt-needs changed not placated to.
Howerver there is something strangely unwelcome about the thought that the congregations felt needs are not important and instead we should let the wholly other Gospel transform our felt needs…I think Willimon would argue that this unwelcome feeling is due to the fact that the Gospel is always an inbreaking from outside of ourselves. It is interesting that this has come up in that I am about to turn in a paper comparing Willimon’s understanding of preaching to Mary Catherine Hilkert. I will post it when I finish it.