Preaching styles

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Reagan, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Reagan

    Reagan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    After reading the interesting "Learning Greek" thread, I have another question. When you preach to the average congregation, how much technical aspects do you talk about? For example, on the preacher/teacher debate, how would you bring it out? Explain all your research? Or just state your position? Do you talk Greek tenses etc. to the congregation?
     
  2. Broadus

    Broadus
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do not bring "technical aspects" or Greek tenses into my preaching, which, BTW, is expository. What I will do is compared Scriptures in our English translation which uses the same Greek word(s) or the same sort of syntax. I will explain that the same Greek work or word order or whatever can be seen in _____, naming the passage. We can't get the congregation bogged down in that which they are not equipped to comprehend.

    Also, even this is not something that comes out often, but only occasionally in order to make the text more clear. And that is the purpose, to communicate as clearly as possible what the text says, not to impress the congregation.

    Bill
     
  3. All about Grace

    All about Grace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I am thrown out of the boat while white water rafting, I don't care about the history, syntax, and meaning of the word "paddle" in the original language. What I do care about is someone taking the paddle - putting it in my face - and getting my rear out of the waves and back in the boat.

    Don't get so bogged down with the history, meaning, and syntax of the paddle that you fail to get people in the boat.

    Greek is important. I spent a large part of my academic career studying it. But it can get in the way of engaging communication. Use it when it illustrates clearer the point you are trying to make -- illustrate it over explain it.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    I try to be very careful of this in my preaching. You never want to appear as if you are talking down to your people or make them feel that they cannot understand Scripture on their own. I try to explain things in simple everyday language where they understand what I want them to know but without appearing too technical. I have heard preachers use Greek and Hebrew words from the pulpit and that always bothers me because no one really cares what the Greek/Hebrew word is, and it always appears to me to be the pastor patting himself on the back for how much "stuff" he knows.
     
  5. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do explain the underlying meanings of some words in the original languages. I do try to give historical information about a passage if it gives more insight to understanding the context.

    I do use technical terms, but then define their meaning. That way, the people who did not know the meaning of the term before now know it, but the more "educated" people don't get bored with hearing simple explanations.

    I explain some of my research when it helps, especially if it answers a question that may have developed from reading the text.

    All that being said, I balance out the technical stuff with illustrations, and focus on how we can apply our interpretation of the Scripture to our lives. So I am careful to not get too dry, and ask questions like "now that we know what the Scripture says, how do we apply it?" Then I answer the question.

    My preaching style seems to work pretty well, and people understand me, so I'm going to stick with it!
     
  6. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/circuitrider2.JPG>

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of my seminary Greek professors was so good at taking the English text and bringing out the meaning from the original through the English text. I have tried to emulate his style because I want my people to have confidence in their Bible (they do not have to know Greek to get fed, blessed and understand what God is saying). [​IMG] Therefore I always use the English text and try to bring out the meaning using that text. [​IMG] Thus they often say "I never knew that before, what a blessing", rather than "I wish I knew Greek."

    Who cares if its Aorist, pluperfect, middle, once removed :eek: ....exegesis and expository preaching is bringing out the meaning of the text and putting it on the bottom shelf so every one can see it. A good test is whether or not your children can follow the meaning of the text. If they can, you have accomplished your purpose. :cool:
     
  7. MikeinGhana

    MikeinGhana
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am afraid we have become so scared of being labeled a Bible corrector by some extremists that we fail to help our congregation clearly understand the Bible. That is what the scribes of old did. They read the scriptures then gave the people the meaning. I do agree that preachers need to be careful about over using the technical side of things. If the people nod off you are not going to feed their soul!
     
  8. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Haddon Robinson tells of how he used to speak of the 'Greek' and 'Hebrew' in his sermons. One day a lady said at the door that she was no longer going to read her Bible and just listen to his sermons since the Greek and Hebrew seemed to be so much more correct. Robinson's ministry was changed because he said it was his job to get people into their Bibles, not out of them.

    The divorced lady in your church with three kids couldn't care less about the aorist or piel. Give it to them anyway, just don't let them know you're doing it. Some suggestions:
    "In Bible times, this word meant...."
    "This is a continual activity...."

    Circuit rider is right. Each sermon should be able to pass the "12 year old" test. Can a 12 year old understand me? Children often said of Spurgeon "Momma, he's talking to me."

    It takes real scholarship to make the technical non-technical.
     
  9. NateT

    NateT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    My greek prof said that Greek and Hebrew are like underwear -- they're there for support, but should never be seen.
     
  10. swaimj

    swaimj
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/swaimj.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have had several seminary students come to our church to intern. At first, we let them teach adult SS class, but they often got into techinical arguments and academic topics that were of little interest and less practical use to those in the class. For instance, one guy wanted to do a quarter of Sunday School on the uses of the Old Testament in the New Testament. SSSSNNNNXXX!!!

    Now we assign them to Jr. Church and to teen classes with occasional opportunities to speak to adults. This forces them to get interesting and relevant or have anarchy! Interesting and relevant! We'll make new evangelicals out of them yet!
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use just enough of the Greek to get my point across. If the tense makes a major difference and the English doesn't make the distinction, I bring that out.

    One of my favorites is John 21, where Jesus and Peter are using different words for love. To see the light of understanding illuminating the faces of the congregation was thanks enough.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. All about Grace

    All about Grace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to burst the bubble here ... but most solid Greek scholars believe the different uses of love in John 21 is irrelevant. There is no reason to believe it has any significance.
     
  13. shannonL

    shannonL
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think circuit rider is right as well.
    If you can give three year olds a Bible lesson in a concise manner, in a way that they stay interested then you can relate to just about anybody.
    Maybe its just me but alot of the fellows I've heard that love to throw out all the greek words and such to the congregation also have a hard time with the "application" portion of a sermon.
    I don't know if the two are related but it seems like it to me.
    I was taught to "preach for a decision" when you preach. In other words present the message in such a way that the hearers are challenged to "do something" with what they have heard. I don't mean they have to come down the aisle etc... I simply mean if we have done our job our people will have been left with a pointed thought in their minds that they have to deal with. Even if they do nothing at all.
     
  14. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,413
    Likes Received:
    70
    Not to burst the bubble here ... but most solid Greek scholars believe the different uses of love in John 21 is irrelevant. There is no reason to believe it has any significance. </font>[/QUOTE]I tend to agree with those scholars, partially because I believe the conversation took place in Aramaic and since those two Greek words can be used interchangably at times.

    Case in point: Luke 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

    Greek root word for love: agapaw

    Matt 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    Greek root word for love: philew

    --------------
     
  15. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I never use the actual Greek/Hebrew/Aramiac in my preaching though I am inextricably tied to it in my preparation.

    In my prep work I work through the passage at the textual base (Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic) first then look at it structurally (e.g. diagramming) then I begin bringing in commentary and other textual aides. As I formulate the sermon I take this in regards to the matter at hand and compliment with apt illustrations.

    my style is largely dependant upon my audience. If speaking to college and younger singles I will be more narrative-expository based. If speaking to median age I will be more topical-expository. And if speaking to meridian age I am fairly expository.

    Stylistically I am pretty much a teacher mode than a traditional preacher mode...if hellfire and brimstone is our definition of traditional preacher mode. I enjoy a more laid back approach to preaching than in your face way of doing things.
     
  16. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    I guess it depends on knowing your congregation. If you happen to be in a rare situation where 90% of your congregation is highly academic and interested in the linguistic aspects of interpretation, it may be appropriate to mention.

    The average congregation would probably like to know that you are doing the legwork behind the scenes, but don't need to know the details.
     
  17. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reagan

    Without knowing what you intend for the audience, there is no way that I can honestly answer.

    A church full of professors would require a different approach than a country church and that would be different from a church of new believers.

    Without knowing the intended audience and seeking God's will for the sermon ... I cannot give you a blanket, "this is what I would preach."

    IMHO
     
  18. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having said that, I would, as some of the previous posts indicated, be very careful when discussing the original languages in a sermon . . .

    [ November 03, 2005, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: El_Guero ]
     
  19. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trotter

    Without regard to the semantics of the words, logically there is meaning in the word choice of the author.

    Christ asked if he was loved 2 times and Peter responded, yes I like you. When Christ asked if Peter liked Him, Peter was grieved because Christ had asked the 3d time ...
     
  20. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to burst the bubble here ... but most solid Greek scholars believe the different uses of love in John 21 is irrelevant. There is no reason to believe it has any significance. </font>[/QUOTE]Hey, we agree. D.A. Carson cites this in his book, Exegetical Fallacies (a neat, interesting little book). BTW, this is a good illustration of how one can get so enthralled in the Greek that he loses sight of the meaning and purpose. Another example is the preacher who explains the power of the Holy Spirit by dynamite. It makes for a neat connection for the illustration but it is dubious to suppose this is what the Holy Spirit intended by δυναμοω.
     

Share This Page

Loading...