Jun 19, 2013

Get Yourself out of the Interpretation and into the Proclamation

Preaching magazine once interviewed John MacArthur and asked him the following question:

You’ve commented that one of the things you have to work at so hard is to get your own presuppositions out of the message. How do you do that and yet allow the divinely inspired personality of the preacher to still have its place?

MacArthur responds,

I think the answer to that is you get yourself out of the interpretation; you don’t get yourself out of the proclamation. I want to be out of the interpretation and in the proclamation. There’s a clear line there for me. . . .

I think the challenge in the interpretation process is to get yourself out of it, and that is where the scholarship comes in, that is where you hard work comes in.

That’s why I read probably twelve to fifteen commentaries on every passage that I preach on. I really do want to be fair with it. That’s the challenge, and once I get into the proclamation, then that’s just me. I hope that people don’t ever think that you are up there trying to present your opinion. (emphasis mine)

Question: How does a preacher keep his presuppositions out of the message? Is that even possible or profitable? How would you have answered Preaching magazine’s question?