Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Is Preaching

Recent media coverage of so-called sermons have really bothered me. A sermon is not a sermon just because a man stands up and delivers an emotional speech. Political rhetoric is just that, political rhetoric. Further, the pulpit is no place to use language that is unacceptable for radio and television and has to be bleeped out.

Preaching is a sacred practice, not a political maneuver. Preaching is the exposition of the Word of God found only in the Bible. Anything else is something far less than preaching and does not deserve the title. I have compiled a short list of quotes on preaching that I would like to share with you all. I hope you find this helpful as you work to sort through the inflamatory comments by some political activists claiming to be pastors.

Every sermon wich aspires to be at once both Biblical and practical; it must be derived from an honest exegesis of the text (of scripture) and it must constantly be kept close to the text.

- Walter Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theology

The communication of truth by man to men. It has in it two essential elements, truth and personality. Neither of these can it spare and still be preaching.

- Phillips Brooks. In this case we note that the only source of ultimate truth is the Bible.

An expository sermon may be defined as a message whose structer and thought are derived from a biblical text, that covers the scope of the text, and that explains the features and context of the text in order to disclose the enduring priciples for faithful thinking, living, and worship intended by the Spirit, who inspired the text.

- Bryan Chapell, Christ Centered Preaching

Preaching is the oral communication of biblical truth by the Holy Spirit through a human personality to a given audience with the intent of enabling a positive response.

Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit

Preaching should be driven by a passion for the glory of God...the preacher is not the witness himself; instead, he simply is called to report the facts given by the witness (the Word of God).

Jim Shaddix, The Passion Driven Sermon

The church's most powerful testimony is not in its ecstasies, but in its clear proclamation of the powerful Word of God.

John Macarthur

The great design...of a Christian preacher is to restore the throne and dominion of God in the souls of men.

Cotton Mather

All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation. you wake up on Sunday morning and you can smell the smoke of hell on one side and feel the crisp breezes of heaven on the other. you go to your study and look down at your pitiful manuscript and you kneel down and cry, "O God, this is so weak! Who do I think I am?

John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching

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