Reviewing the Main Points 06.07.13

June 7, 2013

The web was alive with preaching resources this past week, especially with discussions related to Christ-centered preaching. Enjoy!

Christ-Centered Preaching (Part 1): The “Dilemma” of Christ-Centered Expository Preaching – Tony Merida

Essentially, expository preaching attempts to explain and apply the biblical text in its context. This poses an interesting dilemma for Christian preachers. How is one to preach Christ where he may not seem to be present in the text?

Christ-Centered Preaching (Part 2): The Centrality of Christ in the Bible and in Expository Preaching – Tony Merida

Understanding the nature of Scripture seems to be an essential requirement for preachers who wish to expound what the biblical text says. Many homileticians assert that the primary emphasis of the Bible is upon redemptive history, which culminates in Christ’s person and work. If the Bible focuses upon Christ’s redemptive work, then this should have practical implications for expositors who wish to proclaim the Bible accurately.

Christ-Centered Preaching (Part 3): Practical Application in Christ-Centered Expository Preaching – Tony Merida

Merida’s post briefly addresses “how the preacher should structure an expository sermon that integrates biblical theology thereby emphasizing God’s redeeming work in Christ.”

Merida also gives 3 “benefits of integrating biblical theology with expository preaching.”

Jason Allen and the Gospel Project – Eric Hankins

While Christ should always be exalted when preaching, authorial intent alone is the exegetical launch pad for any sermon (“Be Expositional First and Christological Second,” 145). Allusions to Christ may certainly be made when Christology isn’t explicit, but allusions are what they are and no more (144). Care must be given not to read any meaning into a text that is not rooted in the author’s intent.

A Defense of Christ-Centered Exposition: A Friendly Response to Eric Hankins (Part 2) – Jonathan Akin

The Christocentric approach starts with the historical-grammatical method but it doesn’t stop there. Sadly, many evangelical interpreters are held captive to Enlightenment reductionism that would elevate modern hermeneutical methods above the methods of Jesus and the Apostles.  We must be diligent to escape this captivity.

A Defense of Christ-Centered Exposition: A Friend Response to Eric Hankins (Part 3) – Jonathan Akin

Christ-centered exposition bases the imperatives to live faithfully in the gospel indicatives of what Christ has already done for us.

I linked to part 1 of Akin’s series last week. But in case you missed it here’s the link.

7 Ways of Preaching Christ from the Old Testament – Trevin Wax

In the initial chapter of his book,Preaching Christ from Genesis,Sidney Griedanus lays out seven ways that a preacher can legitimately preach Christ from the Old Testament. I’ve adapted the examples for each category in order to keep the focus on how there are multiple ways to preach Christ from an Old Testament account (such as Noah).

Should We Preach Christ in Every Sermon? – Fred Malone

Preachers in the New Testament did not preach in the manner that has become customary to us. They did not take a text out of the New Testament, analyze it, expound it, and then apply it. What did they preach? They preached the great message that had been committed to them, the great body of gospel truth, the whole doctrine of salvation revealed from Genesis to Revelation. My argument is that this is what we should always be doing, though we do it through individual expositions of particular texts. That is the relationship between theology and preaching.

Spurgeon — as Guest Preacher? – Dan Phillips

[One author] knew that pastors occasionally need study breaks, even beyond vacation times. His suggestion was to pick from the rich array of nearly 2000 years of Christian sermons, and have a “guest preacher” fill in on occasion. Find one of the great sermons, or one of the great preachers, and let him step in.

 Deadly, Dull, and Boring – Phil Campbell

We should be absolutely consumed by trying to design sermons that are simple without being simplistic, that are understandable and clear. We should try very hard to avoid unnecessary complexity.

Clarity comes from what you leave out. Clarity comes from focus. Usually, complexity comes from ‘over-inclusion’.

Everything I Know About Pastoral Ministry I Learned Riding with Pastors – Thabiti Anyabwile

“Remember: You preach for an audience of One.”

That was Peter Rochelle’s remark to me before I preached my initial sermon. We certainly may preach to audiences of more than one, but we only ever preach for an audience of One. With that remark he helped me settle my highest loyalty as a preacher and drove a stake deep into the heart of this preacher’s fear of man. I’m forever grateful for that conversation and the path Peter set me on. He was my first model of exposition and pastoral care.

How to Get Over the Fear of Public Speaking – Michael Hyatt

Even after I had been speaking publicly for years, I still struggled with fear. Even when I was well-prepared. This happened nearly every time I spoke.

The problem, as I eventually discovered, was I was focused on myself. . . .

Next time you have the opportunity to speak publicly and find yourself getting nervous, try refocusing on the needs of your audience. Give them the gifts they need to succeed. It will make a difference. For you and for them.

PM 501 Fundamentals of Expository Preaching Lectures – John MacArthur and Steven Lawson

Sanctified Sin – Peter Mead

Bible teaching is not really helping if our goal is to facilitate independent functioning on the part of those who hear.  If they are being equipped and encouraged to live independently in their newfound personal holiness, then what is the teacher achieving?  Is this really helping people?  Ever since Genesis 3 we have been saturated in the brine of independence.  Some manifest it by overt rebellion, but others of us are prone to manifest our sinful bent through self-righteousness and personal spiritual “success.”  The latter looks so much better, but it can still be a fleshly attempt to push God away and function without direct dependence on Him.

Paul’s Preaching Genius – Peter Mead

Preaching that promotes christian living, but doesn’t offer Christ, is not helpful at all.  If we simply instruct people how to behave and act like christians, then they will co-opt and corrupt that instruction to serve their incurvedness.

Why God Still Works Through Poor Preaching – Peter Mead

God works despite us and our preaching (and we need to be thankful for that!)

6 Things We Need to Learn from Youth About Preaching – Cameron Cole

If we’re serious about passing the gospel to the next generation, what do we need to learn from youth about how we preach? Here are six suggestions youth would offer to their pastors.

The Nancy Drew Principle: How to Help People Follow Your Logic – Nicholas McDonald

Here’s the principle: “Help people approach your sermon like a detective.” Let people know where they’re going to place the information you’re about to tell them. Demonstrate in the first five minutes that you’re going to solve a mystery (or a few mysteries) by asking good questions.

Entertaining Pulpits and the Legacy of “Tethered Preaching” – David Mathis

Initially, it may be tough to tell the difference. A gifted Bible-expositor and an entertainment-oriented preacher, with a penchant for garnishing his ideas with some Bible, may not demonstrate much disparity at first.

But give it some time. And check the congregation over the long haul. It will make a world of difference.

Get Thousands of the Best Sermon Illustrations for Free – ProPreacher

Personal stories will make your preaching more relatable, memorable, authentic and interesting. The payoff for having hundreds or even thousands of these stories at your disposal is huge.

These links and summaries are offered for your consideration and evaluation because they relate to preaching. Their inclusion does not necessarily imply my whole-hearted commendation. I can’t even recommend everything I write. As always, read with discernment.

Kerry McGonigal

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In Adam by birth but in Christ by grace. That's my story. Husband to one and father of three. Pastor, homiletics teacher, and passionate proponent of expository preaching. If you like what you've read and want to be notified of future posts, take a second and subscribe via RSS or email (on the right sidebar). Opinions expressed here are my own.