Sunday, April 15, 2007

In defence of expository preaching

Peter Adam writes:

(1) Preaching through the books of the Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, respects and reflects God’s authorship. God did not gives us a book of quotable quotes, nor a dictionary of useful texts, nor an anthology of inspiring ideas. When God caused the Scriptures to be written the medium that he used was that of books of the Bible. If that was good enough for the author it should be good enough for the preacher.

(2)Expository Preaching reflects God’s respect for human authors. One of the most beautiful features of the Bible is the way in which God causes his truth to be written and yet does not over-ride the individual writer, but respects their place in history, their vocabulary, their spoken and literary style. If God is so careful to respect the human authors of the Scriptures we should endeavour to do the same by reading, studying, preaching and teaching their books in the order in the way in they wrote them.

Read the other thirteen reasons and more in Peter Adam - Arguing for Expository Preaching


  1. I don't like the implicit association of expository preaching with a linear preaching plan. Sometimes situations call for immediate and direct answers.

    I'm really very keen on exposition, less keen on modernism masquerading as theological scholarship. There just doesn't seem to be a hard and fast 'rule' or 'principle' for setting up a preaching / study plan.

    Sounds a bit black and white to me. Doesn't it to you. Either you do exposition and therefore preach through the bible in the order the books are or you don't take exposition serious. Well, I do take exposition very seriously and I do believe that there is value in chronological or biblically sequential preaching approaches, but I also read the bits of the gospels where Jesus deals with the specific issues that present, as well as the way he uses questions as ways to open up discussions and teaching opportunities.

    Irresponsible Evangelical

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    not so sure whats wrong with being linear... the bigger issue is respecting how God gave his word and the contexts in which he speaks - which is nothing to do with modernism or postmodernism... its just about reading the books...

    I'd rather respect the books and have to say - 'this isn't everything on this issue/topic' but it is what God says here about it... and gradually paint the picture of a fully-orbed Biblical worldview instead of saying 'this is everything about this thing' as a quick-fix... if God gives it this way then maybe we have to wait and take time...

    we can pursue this.... be nice to know who i'm talking to.

  3. Would rather stay Anonymous on this for now. Hope that's okay with you. Call me IE. :)

    I have no problem with linear, but the way he put it is quite coupled with exegesis so that it seems like it would be unbiblical now to do anything else now.

    And, I agree with the absolute importance of context. I'm not objecting to a) linear approaches b) context led work.

    My point is that he is doing exactly the thing that you should not do in exegesis. He is reading into the bible, the concerns he has, the culture he is in. That is a mistake. Then my other point is that there is no one way of structuring a preaching plan.

    Is that clearer?