Monday, May 19, 2008

Alistair Begg on (Expository) Preaching

In the Introduction to Expository Preaching Class at SWBTS I require his little text Preaching for God's Glory. A few quotes:

  • we gather together as the church not to enjoy preaching eloquence (or to criticize its lack) but to hear and heed the Word of God. (p. 13)
  • The Scriptures are neglected and debased and are used only as a springboard for all kinds of “talks” that are far removed from biblical exposition. (p. 18)
  • There is a contemporary distrust of anything or anyone who is assured or authoritative. (p. 19)
  • Expository preaching means unfolding the text of Scripture in a way that makes contact with the listeners' world while exalting Christ and confronting them with the need for action" (p. 23)
  • It is sheer slackness to fling at people great slabs of religious phraseology derived from a bygone age without helping them retranslate the message into their own experience. That is the preacher's task, not theirs. (p. 29)
  • [Expository preaching] establishes the focus of the people upon God and his glory before any consideration of man and his need. (p 33)
  • There is no chance of a fire in the pews if there is an iceberg in the pulpit; and without personal prayer and communion with God during the preparation stages, the pulpit will be cold. (p. 43)
My favorite part is where Begg offers 10 caricatures that today masquerade for true godly preaching: The cheerleader, the conjurer, the story teller, the systematizer, the psychologist, the naked preacher, the politician, the end-times guru, and the hobby-horse rider.

And now, a chance to listen to the man himself ...

"It is no small matter to stand up in the face of the congregation, and to deliver a message of salvation or damnation, as from the living God, in the name of the redeemer."
-Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor

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