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Posts Tagged ‘Expository Preaching’

It’s Monday.  I know preachers can experience the Monday blues when there’s a rough or difficult Sunday at Church.

Note I’m not going through anything right now but I want to write this post as a help for myself and/or others in the future.

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Pastor Alex Montoya has been instrumental in God shaping how I preach and also with wisdom concerning pastoral ministry.  He’s to me the Hispanic Charles Spurgeon and I lament that he’s retired from teaching in seminary.

Last week he’s recently taught for a Seminary Winterim session on the passion of preaching.  In a one week intensive course he taught a future generation of those entering ministry on homiletic (how to preach).

I thought I share them with viewers to help preachers and those who are teachers.

Here are the videos:

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Since it is Sunday and most of the blog readers no doubt will be attending church I thought it would be helpful to have this post on how to teach the Bible.

This is applicable for preachers, Bible study leaders, Sunday school teachers, etc.  Even if some things might not apply to you there are nevertheless truths and principles about teaching the Bible that would be helpful.

Actually even if you don’t teach the Bible in a church or ministry context this is still helpful for you to listen to in order to better know how to listen to God’s Word being taught, to pray for those who feed you from the Word and also how to teach from God’s Word should the need arise later in life.

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RTS

Here are some lectures on preaching the past few years at Reformed Theological Seminary.

2014 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Timothy Keller

Lecture 1- What is Good Preaching? [watch | listen]

Lecture 2- Preaching to Secular People and Secularized Believers  [watch | listen]

Q& A – Discussion on Prayer book  [listen]

Lecture 3- Preaching the Gospel Every Time [watch | listen]

Lecture 4- Preaching to the Heart [watch | listen]

2013 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Rev. Kevin DeYoung

Lecture 1-How Can a Biblical Sermon Be So Boring? The Case for Veracity and Clarity in Preaching

Lecture 2- How Can a Biblical Sermon Be So Boring? The Case for Specificity, Authenticity, and Ingenuity in Preaching

Lecture 3-How Can a Biblical Sermon Be So Boring? The Case for Spontaneity and Authority in Preaching

Q&A- Discussion on Crazy Busy

Q&A- Discussion on Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

2012 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Thabiti Anyabwile

Lecture 1 – November 7, Chapel

2011 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Reddit Andrews

Lecture 1 – October 26, Chapel

Lecture 2 – October 26, Lunch

Lecture 3 – October 27, Lunch

2010 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Steve Lawson

Lecture 1 – Nehemiah 8

Lecture 2 – Nehemiah 8

Lecture 3 – Nehemiah 8

2009 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Joel Beeke

Lecture 1 – Calvin’s Powerful Preaching

Lecture 2 – The Puritan’s Love for Preaching

Lecture 3 – Preaching Experientially Today

2008 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Ralph Davis

Lecture 1 – Why is the Old Testament Shut Out of Church?

Lecture 2 – Nuts and Bolts in Preaching Old Testament Texts

Lecture 3 – The Hard Ministry of the Word

2007 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Mark Dever

Lecture 1 – The Symbol and Significance of Preaching

Lecture 2 – The Use of Preaching

Lecture 3 – The Art of Preaching

2006 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Rev. Mark Johnson

Lecture 1 – The Call to Ministry

Lecture 2 – The Call to Preach

Lecture 3 – The Call to Pastor

2005 John Reed Miller Lecture Series – Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

Lecture 1 – Preaching Christ

Lecture 2 – Reaching Our Standards

Lecture 3 – Using Our Grids

2009 Special Preaching Conference

3/25/2010 Rev. Al Martin – “Pursuing Holiness and Likeness to Christ”

3/25/2010 Rev. Ted Donnelly – “The Preacher as a Man” Acts 10

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Paul Washer

What can I say about Paul Washer? For those of you who are not familiar with him, he is married to his wife Charo and they both have three children: Ian, Evan, and Rowan.  Paul Washer is also a graduate of Southwestern Theological Seminary, a missionary at Peru for 10 years, a current laborer at HeartCry Missionary Society, and a itinerant preacher.  It seems that people’s awareness of him can be traced to his well-known “Shocking Youth Message” that now has over 1 million views on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncEhCvrVgQ).  It was that message that catapulted him to the spotlight.

To those who have listened to him, it appears that he is either a stench of death to some or a sweet smelling aroma.  As for me, he is a sweet smelling aroma.  His gospel-centered messages have impacted me during my young life as a Christian and continues to do so.  We need more men like him, not charlatans from that reality show called “Preachers of L.A.”  They are the contradiction/opposite to biblical leaders.  Biblical leaders are best described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

Not too long ago, this past Thursday, Brother Paul visited The Master’s Seminary.  As my friend and I decided to make a trip there, we were blessed to listened to a message from Romans 12:1-2.  We were deeply edified and convicted by the message.  His message that was delivered with passion, integrity, sincerity, love, and conviction was an encouragement to many of us.   After the message, my friend and I had the opportunity to speak to him personally.  And as contrary to what some may think about him, I have had the opportunity to meet him twice in person.  What I can say is that he was down-to-earth and very approachable.  What I appreciated about this latest personal meeting with him was his encouragement to me and a few guys concerning the importance of prayer.  He even shared tips with us in terms of  a few ways to have an effective prayer life.  I was convicted by it because I need to excel still more in my communion time via prayer with my precious Lord and Savior.  May God help us to be the saints that God desires us to be!  At any rate,  I hope this message encourages you.  Until then, here is a passage from Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (NASB).

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JJ

What can I say about this book?  Well, its not just any book.  It’s one of a kind.  And a kind that happens to deal with one of the most important elements in the life of the church.  It’s a book on preaching and preachers.  I could see why Dr. Jones would want to write a book on preaching and preachers.  For example, in this clear definition concerning the work of the church and the pastor, he states, “The primary task of the Church and of the Christian minister is the preaching of the Word of God.”  In other words it is the business of the church to make sure that the preaching of God’s Word is not subordinate to other areas in the life of the church.  Preaching is essential, because the preacher stands between God and souls that are on the verge of entering Hell and life of voidness that is separated from the love of God.  For Dr. Jones, “The preacher alone is the one who can do this.  He is the only one who is in a position to deal with the greatest need of the world.”  There is no substitute for it because preaching is the means that has been ordained by God to convert dead souls; and to edify living souls.

There are so many things that can be addressed concerning this book.  Once you read this book you probably will scratch your head at some of the doctor’s comments and may not agree with every single jot and tittle of what the man says.  You will see some of his strong opinions, but they are worth your attention, nonetheless.  It will cause you to think.  Some of the foundational points that Dr. Jones mentions can be listed under these headings that is somewhat similar to what Mark Dever said in his essay contribution concerning his reading of Dr. Jones’ book: preaching should normally be expository, evangelistic, clear about God, serious, clear about sin, confrontational, not deceptive/manipulative; should proclaim the Gospel; and preaching should proclaim the Gospel because the Gospel is for everyone.

Expository preaching is fundamental to the church.  We need to hear what the verse or passage means because getting the meaning down brings one closer to God.  We should not concoct our own meanings or imaginations into the message.  Preaching should also be evangelistic.  Although edifying the saints is critical the growth of believers, evangelistic messages are also important because the preacher needs to come to grips with the reality that perhaps not everyone in the pew is a believer.  Preaching should also be clear about God.  Why should we be clear about God?  We want to be clear about God because we want people to have a sense of God and His holy presence.  Dr. Jones once said in his lectures concerning the topic of being clear about God, “I am never tired of saying that the real difficulty of evangelism today is that we do not spend sufficient time with the doctrine of God.”  Even though he is referring to evangelism, the principle still applies to the pulpit.  Clarity about God is vital because he is the heartbeat of the message.  In terms of being serious when it comes to preaching, Dr. Jones responded to an interview done by Carl Henry.  Carl Henry said, “You have a great sense of humor, your friends say, but seldom use it in the pulpit.”  Dr. Jones replied by saying, “I find it very difficult to be humorous in the pulpit.  I always feel in the pulpit that I am in the terrible position of standing between God and souls that may go to hell.  That position is too appalling for humour.”  That is a heart-check moment for me.  Whenever I get the opportunity to preach, may God instill a sense of continual seriousness upon my mind.  As for preaching being clear about sin and being confrontational about sin, the doctor says that we are to be respectful towards the person, but we also must be merciless on the sinner because of their rebellion against God.  The sinner that has not placed his full trust in Christ is an abomination to God.   And just to give an anecdotal evidence of this, the doctor did back up his statements when he was in the heat of the moment.  For example, in one of his sermons, he said, “The church of Christ is a church of believers, an association of people banded together by a common belief and a common love.  You don’t believe?  Well, above all, do not pretend that you do, go to the country and the seaside.  All I ask of you is, be consistent.  When someone dies in your family, do not come to bury him.  Go to the sea-side for consolotion.”  That may seem harsh, but is true love.  He cares for them that much, that he is willing to tell them their reality of their condition so that they may come to Christ.  Another area that must be covered is the manipulation in preaching.  Dr. Jones adds a crucial statement that is fundamental to our awareness concerning manipulation, “The will should always be approached primarily through the mind, the intellect, and then the affections.”  That is a great quote.  In the days we are living in, many churches manipulate people by making people think they are saved if they just sign a card, say a sinners’ prayer, walk a aisle, or make a decision for Christ – all without their mind being washed by the Gospel.  But what’s the use when the mind has not been affected by the Gospel?  The mind is critical.  If the mind is not washed by the Word and affected by the the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5), then one does not truly understand and accept the Gospel.  It is the mind that substantiates the human will and emotion.  The last fundamental point I would like to point out is this: “evangelistic preaching is for all.”  In other words, believers and unbelievers need to hear the Gospel.  For the Christian, the Gospel is the source that sanctifies them in this life and the life to come.  For the unbeliever, the Gospel is the only hope concerning one’s freedom from sin and is the only hope concerning one’s escape from hell in the afterlife.

I highly recommend this book.  I would say that besides the preaching books that focuses on the mechanics of preaching, this is the best book on the treatment of preaching and preachers.  It will electrify your soul if you have a heart to preach God’s Word.

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Preaching

MacArthur, John and the Master’s Seminary FacultyPreaching: How to Preach Biblically. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2005.

Strengths

This book did a wonderful job in presenting the concise definition of the term: expository preaching and the detail analysis regarding expository preaching.  While reading the processes of the exegetical method, hermeneutic methods, and guidelines in preaching different genres, I found it helpful when Pastor MacArthur open up the doors into his preparation before preaching on Sunday.  What was also helpful were the explanations on how one moves from exegesis to exposition and how one delivers his exposition.

Moving from exegesis to exposition is important because as preachers, we do not want to be a data dump or sound like a commentary when we are preaching.  We must be like Martin Luther who preached to the common man.  At times, this can be difficult for expositors because there is a big temptation to go too deep because of the power and depth of the biblical languages.

I am glad Pastor MacArthur touched upon the negativity of being a data dump.  If exposition is not present, then the listeners will have trouble understanding.

What was also refreshing are insights on how to develop a good introduction, illustrations, and conclusion.  These three components are essential in delivering a powerful, illustrative, and engaging exposition.

Another component that I think is critical for expositors to know and keep in mind is the chart on page 114 of the book.  The chart lists four levels concerning the “relationships between fields of theological study.”  The first level comprises of biblical introduction, biblical languages, and hermeneutics.  Biblical introduction has to do with understanding the historical background, author, etc.    Biblical languages are key because the Bible was written in the original, not English nor any other language. Having a firm grasp on the biblical languages brings one closer to God’s Word and brings others to God’s Word.  Hermeneutics (art and science of interpretation) on the other hand, is critical too because it provides rules to interpretation.  Without proper hermeneutics, you will not have accurate exegesis.

In level two, you have exegesis.  Exegesis does not rely on the English, but deals with the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic; and relies upon good hermeneutical principles (108).  The job of exegesis is to help bring about the meaning of the text.

The third level comprises of systematic theology, biblical theology, church history, philosophy of religion, apologetics, homiletics, counseling, Christian education, administration, missions, evangelism, contemporary society, ethics, etc. (114).

The last level is Bible exposition.  This is the level where preachers declare the Word of God to the people.  Dr. Richard L. Mayhue defines exposition in this manner,

At its best, expository preaching is ‘the presentation of biblical truth, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, Spirit-guided study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit applies first to the life of the preacher and then through him to his congregation’” (9).

This is a great quote and is convicting in many fronts.  It is a powerful reminder for me that I need to work hard at getting the interpretation right, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit; and that I need to apply God’s truth to myself first before telling others to apply them.

Weaknesses

One weakness in this book is that it does not dive in depth about how to deal with New Testament narratives.  More attention was given to Old Testament narratives.  I think that speaking about the narratives in the New Testament (i.e. Gospels) would help much since many preachers will preach from the New Testament.  Also since context is important, a more detailed analysis in how to analyze a particular context of a passage would help the reader.

Quotes

Below are lists of quotes that were insightful and had an impact on me.  I pray that I go back to these quotes as a reference.

James Rosscup—

“The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product.  We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness” (55).

Andrew Blackwood—

“For in his study the prophet can build his altar and on it lay the wood.  There he can lovingly place his sacrifice…sermon…but still he knows that the fire must come down from God.  Come it will, if he prays before he works, and if he works in the spirit of prayer” (59).

Richard Baxter—

“Many a tailer goes in rags, that maketh costly clothes for others; and many a cook scarcely licks his fingers, when he hath dressed for others the most costly dishes…It is a fearful thing to be an unsanctified professor, but much more to be an unsanctified preacher” (68).

John Flavel—

“Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves” (69).

Charles Spurgeon—

“Let the minister take care that his personal character agrees in all respects with his ministry” (69).

John MacArthur—

“Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit that opens one’s spiritual eyes to comprehend the meaning of the Word of God” (78).

“Revelation refers to the act by which God makes known what is otherwise unknowable.  Theologians sometimes call it ‘special revelation”(79).

Charles Spurgeon—

“A house must not have thick walls without openings, neither must a discourse be all made up of solid slabs of doctrine without a window of comparison or a lattice of poetry; if so, our hearers will gradually forsake us, and prefer to stay at home and read their favourite authors whose lively tropes and vivid images afford more pleasure to their minds” (240).

John MacArthur—

“Faithful expository preaching demands great effort.  Since nothing is as important as the Word, no energy expended by anyone in any other field should even equal the effort of an expositor seeking to ‘rightly divide the Word’” (171).

Richard L. Mayhue—

“The element of ethos, that is, the preacher’s perceived credibility in the mind of his audience, can be markedly influenced by the kind and quality of his introduction.  This is especially true in cases where listeners have no previous acquaintance with their preacher.  As the adage goes, ‘First impressions are lasting impressions” (201).

John MacArthur—

“Preaching is expository in purpose.  It explains the text.  Preaching is logical in flow.  It persuades the mind.  Preaching is doctrinal in content.  It obligates the will.  Preaching is pastoral in concern.  It feeds the soul.  Preaching is imaginative in pattern.  It excites the emotion.  Preaching is relevant in application.  It touches the life” (236-237).

John MacArthur—

“Proper communication in preaching involves taking people through a logical, systematic, and compelling process” (237).

In regards to how long a sermon should be, he states, “As long as it takes to cover the passage adequately!  I do not think the length of the sermon is as important as its content.  At times I have preached fifty minutes and it has been ten minutes too long.  Other times, I have preached an hour and twenty-five minutes and it has been just right.  The important thing is to cover the main point so that people are convinced of its truth and comprehend its requirements.  If you have nothing worthwhile to say, even twenty minutes will seem like an eternity to your people.  If you are interesting, they will stay with you.  Do not mistake persuasion for long-windedness, however.  If you preach longer than you should, you will sacrifice persuasiveness” (277).

 

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