AI and the Ethics of Preaching

Episode 775

Host Ed Stetzer meets with author, ethics expert, and his own colleague Dr. Scott Rae to chat about the ethical implications of ChatGPT and its impact on preachers, planters, and pastors today. Tune in to discover why AI can’t replace the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • How sermon prep relates to physical fitness
  • Why discipline and accountability are non-negotiables in this modern preaching age
  • The dangers of keeping pace—or failing to do so!—in the realm of technology
  • How AI differs from the vetted resources we know and trust
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in each and every step of your preaching process

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Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

I have no difficulty with bivocational church planters utilizing someone else’s sermon outline, though it’s a question of attribution and more. Whereas AI is a plagiarism machine that gathers and brings together other people’s thoughts. — Ed Stetzer

I’m troubled to think that the temptation to use AI for more and more and more will eventually become irresistible, to the point that it’s writing a first draft and you’re becoming an editor rather than someone generating it from scratch. — Scott Rae

You can have ChatGPT write you a script, but you’re basically just a voice actor reading a script. Pastors can be good at articulating things, but that’s not the same as wrestling with the text for what God has for the people He has called you to lead and serve. Ed Stetzer

The pastor should have the experience we’ve all had of beating our heads against the wall until the light comes on and you realize what the text is saying and how it connects to your people. It’s that “Aha!” moment that I’m afraid ChatGPT may rob you of. — Scott Rae

Most of us overprepare for our sermons and have way more content that we can actually cover in the time allotted to us. The Spirit’s work in sermon preparation is just as much as the delivery itself. I don’t want to use tools that short circuit the activity of the Spirit, but enhance it. — Scott Rae

I want to wrestle with what I’ve prepared, what I think God wants me to deliver to my audience, what is consistent with the author’s intent, and what is the appropriate application to the text. — Scott Rae

Published October 5, 2023

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