Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Expound the Text with Eagerness!

Professor David Prince was especially instrumental in teaching us to prove in practice what we believed in theory - namely, that God's Word is sufficient and authoritative. What does this look like?

When preaching, it is crucial to delight in the very text you expound. Many preachers (I witnessed an all too sad example of this very recently) will stand over their Bibles in the pulpit and 'unpack' the text with dryness, technicalities, and a monotone voice. It is only when they get to a really neat illustration or 'pet' story that they really come alive. At this point, they will move from behind the pulpit and really engage the audience. But what does this ultimately convey?

The clear answer is that such a preacher actually believes that he needs to add to the Word of God or give God some help in the act of preaching. Haven't you sat under preaching where a few verses are referenced here and there but the main bulk of the sermon is the preacher's stories?

It is imperative that we use illustrations - lots of them and really good and appropriate ones (I really, really believe that!). However, let us show in practice that we truly believe in the power of the living Word. Let's use illustrations that serve as a window to the text, never as an end in themselves. And let us preach with joy and authority - especially when standing over the Sacred text.


Anonymous said...

Hey John,

I better see your face pretty darn soon, or else. Just kidding.

Have you ever thought about the insufficiency of Scripture. I know this sounds like a negative way to talk, but what I mean is this. Basically we all affirm that the Bible isn't a science or psychology textbook, mathbook, or philosophy primer; basically, Scripture doesn't fill in all the gaps or our knowledge, but provides a starting place. Maybe 'insufficiency' of Scripture isn't appropriate though. I heard someone use it one time though. Anyways, come see me soon man.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah,

this is Scott if you haven't guessed.