Preaching to the context of unbelief has not been normal. Try to find a book on the topic. Google: Preaching to Unbelief. You won't find much. Yet in our country where the Nones (those religiously unaffiliated) are the fastest growing segment of religious identification if we don't learn how to preach to unbelief we will lose our voice in society.
I was thoroughly schooled to preach to belief: 1) begin with the propositional truth of the biblical text, 2) describe and explain that truth to the audience, 3) illustrate that truth in action. That was the bones of the sermon. Deeper than this sermon structure is the sermon purpose. In preaching to belief the purpose is to confirm the already existing belief of the audience. We want our people to leave the worship experience confident in their belief and affirmed that they are right. But what happens today when people do not believe our presuppositions about God, Jesus, or the Bible? How do we connect with them in a way that recognizes their unbelief and provides room for us to engage one another around the question of belief? This is where preaching to unbelief enters.
Here are 4 keys to help you explore the idea of preaching to unbelief: