On Preaching

kinnon —  March 11, 2008 — 5 Comments

A great post from Scott …in a parallel universe or not.

Reminds me of Imbi doing a sermon for a preaching class last year. It was good. It just wasn’t her. And she’s worth listening to. (Something I probably should do on a more regular basis.)



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

5 responses to On Preaching

  1. Bill,
    I read Scott’s post. Isn’t it too bad that everything including preaching is getting hijacked into “the right way” and “the wrong way”? What a bunch of crock! I heard Shane Claiborne at the NPC in San Diego. Compelling and story-telling. Suppository preaching has only been around for about 50 years. Who do these people think they’re kidding?!

  2. I agree there’s no one biblically sanctioned sermon style/model. But I was a bit confused about the conflation of exegetical/expository and Saddleback/Willow since most of the Saddleback/Willow sermon stuff is topical.

    I also don’t think the preaching culture right now is predominantly expository/exegetical. I am emerging from the laser light show of the megachurch movement myself and in my experience, the majority of evangelical preaching ’round these here parts is “How To”-style topical.

    I wish there was more expository preaching to be found. But maybe it’s just my area that is an anomaly. (Although I do live in America’s Bible Belt . . .)

  3. But is that Bible Belt tightening? 🙂

    I would suggest the best education occurs in smaller groups with interaction between the students and the teacher. (Kind of like what Jesus did.) I won’t debate that expository teaching is necessary for the growth of Body. I would debate, however, whether that teaching actually occurs in most Western Evangelical Churches. If people were actually being taught/impacted by the truth of the Bible, should we not expect to see a radical transformation of society from people who love & care for their neighbors, visit the prisoners, pray for & see healing of the sick, comfort the afflicted and alone, share their possessions with the poor and each other.

    Instead, it would seem that many churches that profess to the expository nature of their preaching – are best at training believers on how to beat other folk up with the scriptures. It would seem more important to know the Word – rather than actually doing it. I’m reminded of a Brant Hansen “cartoon” of people worshipping the Bible – rather than He who the Bible reveals.

  4. You’ll get no argument from me against the reality that the vast majority of the teaching that actually occurs — whether expository or topical or anywhere in between — has produced an impotent evangelicalism.

    I just have found, in the places I’ve been, that the expository preachers are in the minority.

    I also agree that effective preaching occurs in the context of a Body discipled to Jesus. I look at the Gospels and see Jesus:
    a) teaching
    b) going
    c) teaching as he goes.

    Gotta have all three, I think.

  5. One of the problems is that if you ask a thousand people what expository preaching is, you’ll get a thousand answers. It’s got nothing to do with the style or form; it should be about getting out of the way to let Scripture speak. You can do that in narrative and all kinds of creative ways.

    I don’t care what style someone has as long as they do that. If they don’t get out of the way and I’m only listening to their thoughts, then it doesn’t matter how good the form is – even if it is funky and creative. It’s as much of a waste of time as the structured stuff Scott talks about.


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