Archive for the ‘Preaching’ Category


Charles H. Spurgeon. Struggles of Conscience.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 23rd, 2014. 29 pp.

5 out of 5

This booklet is from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that he preached on September 23, 1860 based in part upon Job 13:23 (it is a more topical sermon in the way that Spurgeon often gets a textual preacher from one verse).  This year I have been reading more of Spurgeon and I must say thus far this is one of my favorite work that has been made available through Chapel Library.  Here in this work Spurgeon tackles on the problem that some have that one must have a deeper sense of feelings of their sinfulness before they would repent and turn towards Christ.  Anyone who knows Spurgeon knows he loves the Puritans but here he does fault some Puritans for making the mistake of confusing post-conversion “feelings” must manifest before one come to saving faith in Christ.  At times some of these preachers make their own experience to be the litmus test of true conversion.  In tackling this problem and objection towards the Gospel we see a display of the “classic Spurgeon” in which his message is pastorally directed towards the heart, is Gospel driven, biblical, practical, illustrative and dripping with memorable one-liners.


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Yesterday over at the Blog for The Master’s Seminary there is a post titled, “Preachers and Prepackaged Sermons” in which the author outlined the reasons to resist “prepackaged sermons.”  This led me to think more that the bigger undercurrent is the issue of pastors’ and their studies of God’s Word.   So preachers, how are your studies?

One of the qualification of a Pastor is that he is “able to teach,” according to 1 Timothy 3:2.

This is a great verse to meditate on:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

(2 Timothy 2:15)


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Shepherds Conference

The Shepherd’s Conference is officially over.  This was one of the most encouraging conference I’ve been to in the last 8 years.  As people are waiting for the audios and videos to be uploaded online for now we’ll make do with the notes from The Master’s Seminary Liveblog of the Conference.

Here’s the list:

Conference Liveblog: Wed. Morning (MacArthur)

Conference Liveblog: Wed. Evening (Duncan)

Conference Liveblog: Thurs. Evening (Mohler)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Morning (Pennington)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Afternoon (Washer)

Conference Liveblog: Fri. Evening (MacArthur)


If you watch the conference, which sermons did you enjoyed?

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I really enjoy Paul Washer’s sermon today during the Shepherd’s Conference.  That was Christ Centered Preaching!

I wasn’t really able to take much notes but here’s one quote that I was edified with:

Paul Washer study quote

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Penn Jillette evangelize

Our friend and blogger Wally Fry wrote a piece titled “God’s Garden-Lettuce Be Kind Part 10-Jesus the Only Way You Say? That’s NOT Very Nice” in which he shared about the loving act of evangelizing to the lost.  Wally quoted atheist Penn Jillette, of the magician duo, Penn & Teller the following paragraph:

“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is moreimportant than that.”

I like the quote and I’ve used this quotation from Penn Jillette several times in the past as a sermon illustration.  I’ve asked Wally if he’s seen the actual clip and I just realized the clip I have bookmarked has been taken down by Youtube.  So I thought it was worthwhile to make it a post for future reference of where the clip is available.


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Note: I am overseas at the moment and will not have any internet.  This is a guest post by Michael A. Coughlin.  His blog can be found HERE.


Previously, we looked at our need to presuppose the inerrancy, sufficiency and infallibility of the Bible when we open air preach in order to faithfully proclaim God’s good news. In this post, let’s look at some key areas of preparation.

For each preacher specific preparation may look different. Some folks are more comfortable with a prepared ‘sermon’ to preach in the open air, some preachers may even read the text from a tract, and others cheerfully preach with no notes or sermon. These types of preparations are optional and stylistic, meaning that there is no one size fits all approach.

But EVERY man who aspires to open air preach ought to have certain godly disciplines. The man who is daily in the Word and prayer is the only man qualified to stand (anywhere) on the street and herald for Christ. It doesn’t matter if you have a pre-written manuscript; if you are missing these basic habits of the Christian life, you are not qualified to preach.

What I am saying is this: Unless you are first being a good Christian, you are not prepared to be an open air preacher.

If you are not in the Word and prayer, you are in danger of violating God’s will. We are hypocrites if we stand on the street exhorting people to repent of sin because of the impendingjudgment, yet we ourselves do not love the Lord enough to search His Scriptures daily!Our lives ought to be examples for someone converted under our ministry to imitate.

There is physical preparation too. Have your stuff ready: your amp, your throat lozenges, your soapbox, water bottles, honey and lemon tea, whatever you need. Do voice exercises and bodily exercise to increase your stamina and help you to breathe easily. If you are tired and out of breath after a few minutes of preaching, how will you reach as many as you could by preaching 1 hour? Be wise! Know the local laws concerning amplification and what is public property.

Be prepared, in season and out, to herald the full counsel of God, respond to good questions that teach people, and to handle people in a respectable way.

In the next post we will look at practical pointers for our relationships to people in our open air preaching.

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Ministry Charles Brown

Charles J. Brown.  The Ministry: Address to Students of Divinity.
Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006. 112 pp.

I started reading this book during a break in ministry as a devotional to refresh my soul. I had this book for a few years now and I thought I finally get around to reading it.  It turns out that the book really ministered to my heart and I was glad I read it.

The book has a biographical introduction to the author Charles Brown that was written by the biographer Iain Murray of Banner of Truth. I found the biographical sketch helpful since I didn’t know anything about the author before I read the book and learning a little more about this largely forgotten nineteenth century Scottish preacher prepared me to want to read the rest of the book in order to learn more from a great man of God and faithful minister of four decades. The book was an adaptation of several addresses that Charles Brown delivered for the Free Church of Scotland with attention towards ministers and seminarians.  The first chapter argues for the connection between Godliness and Christian ministry, the second on public prayer, the third on preaching and the fourth on elements of pulpit power.  There is an appendix that ought to be a chapter in of itself on various other aspect of pastoral ministry followed by one of Brown’s sermon that is a great example of Gospel driven preaching.

The book is short and is a plus in many ways: first it is the perfect size for a pastor’s devotional. Secondly, the author is concise and to the point.  Thirdly, its spiritual impact is greater than its size; in reviewing this book I was pleasantly surprised how much of the book I highlighted that fed my soul. The following are some of the valuable gems in the book:

  • Reverend Brown is a man of deep prayers. For instance, he devotes a while chapter to public corporate prayer. I appreciate his practical and pastoral reasons for short public prayers.  He doesn’t merely give a pragmatic argument but argues for the benefit of the spiritual well being of the congregation.  Even when he talks about sermon preparation and visitation he talks about the importance of prayers.
  • Brown presented an excellent two point argument for the importance of godliness in the ministry but he doesn’t just leave the readers there; he had some helpful practical hints to strive for personal holiness such as reading more works that are more personal and experimental in character.  I love also seeing Brown’s recommendations, which are all Christian classics and one that stood out to me is his recommendation to read Rutherford’s Letter’s since I didn’t know it had such an effect on Brown.  I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for Rutherford’s work, which previously I have known about only as the man who wrote Lex Rex.
  • I love his illustration of the Word of God being like a gem, arrow and bait in that it is what the minister must master if they are going to preach evangelistically and powerfully.
  • Brown is against manuscripting a sermon; he argues that one should have an outline instead in order to ensure that one is able to look at the eyes of people and to ensure what Brown quoted from John Livingstone as saying “I was more helped in my preaching by the thirsty eyes of the people than anything else.”  Livingstone’s quote must have made a profound impact on Brown since he quoted him twice in the book.
  • I have always felt that as a preacher I should spend more time and effort preparing a conclusion well than the introduction given that it’s important to “land” the sermon properly and to drive home to the hearers a call to respond.  It is wonderful to see a successful preacher with forty one years of experience affirming my conclusion.
  • Brown did share his one regret in ministry was that he wished he got to ministered to the younger members more.  A lesson well taken.

I definitely recommend this book for pastors young and old to read.  I also recommend this for lay people to get this as a gift for their pastors.

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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