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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by whatever, Apr 20, 2006.
I get to hear this gentleman preach every week!
The late, great Dr. Stephen Olford said
"If you must preach topically---you may!!!---But when you're finished preaching the topical serman----REPENT!!!! And then return to expositon!"
Amen! great essay.
I'm gonna regret this...
Blackbird, where does Scripture say that the only proper way to preach is expositionally?
A few years ago, our exposition type pastor left and a topical type pastor came. For a while, I was unhappy because I felt a void and got very little out of the sermons. That void has been filled by this Baptist Board for which I am grateful.
IMHO, most christians are not interested in really studying the bible. They are content with someone at their church telling them what to believe. For instance, most people at my church are happy with the pastor's topical preaching and personality projection.
Wouldn't blackbird have to "exposit" the scripture to answer this question? If you demand a exposition of scripture for this, why would you accept sermons that are not expositions?
I don't think a "topical sermon" necessarily is weak scripturally.
I would agree that it takes more work to ground it in a biblical framework.
I have a problem with the idea of "this is the only proper way to preach." It's entirely possible to preach a message that deals with a topic, yet the truth of the message is centered around God's word. Those that say "all preaching that isn't verse-by-verse exposition is wrong" cannot prove that scripturally...the burden of proof is on them.
I preach expositional AND topical sermons...I see God use both all the time.
Almost everyone thinks they preach expositionally, no?
I appreciate what Dever is saying. I don't necessarily disagree with any of it. In fact, I've often used Dr. C's rationale--if you want your people to know the Bible...then teach them the Bible, one story or book at a time.
Still, Jesus didn't preach expositorially, did He? The way we define it? He often cited verses from different books and tied them together to make a point. Stephen's sermon and Peter's sermon at Pentecost were narrative sermons, at least by our current definitions. Paul at the Areopagus? No verse by verse there either.
Let us never neglect to teach our people the word. Let us shy away from giving them "Ten Tips for a Super Summer" and such tripe. But neither let us never forsake the art of storytelling, nor neglect it for fear of being labled as something other than an "expository preacher."
Expositional preaching can be confused with simply preaching slowly through Scripture one-verse-at-a-time.
One preacher I know spent close to 6 months slowing preaching through the NT book of 1 Peter.
When all was done; when he mentioned every nuance of particular words and sentence structure; I still had no idea what the original author intended to convey.
There was no big picture, only little snippets. Sound preaching, but sorely lacking the original intent of the Scriptural message.
Expositional preaching is simply preaching that takes the main points of the sermon from the points in a particular passage of Scripture.
I'm aware of a pastor who teaches every word in the KJV, one after the other, giving the part of speech of every word as he goes. When he finishes Rev 22:21, he returns to Gen 1:1. His messages are an hour-long ... well ... hour-long ... hour ... ...
Exegesis gets lost, somehow (did he say that was a verb-transitive, or.....).
Scripture says we are to "rightly divide the word of truth"---it doesn't say we are to preach expositionally---Stephen Olford says! I just find it to be the best way to relay truth from the Truth!!
This is not good sound expositional preaching!
This seems appropriate
Charles Spurgeon was an exception to the general good rule . He did not preach expositionally . You never knew what text he would preach from next . But he was gifted by God in a singular way . I prefer the Dr.L-Jones , James Boice ,Walter Chantry etc. approach myself . Matthew Henry was a master at this form of preaching . I favor going through the Bible book by book , without skipping around . Perhaps special series at times on important scriptural themes are warranted though .
I agree with much of what Rand said. I also want to point out the linked article was by David King rather than Mark Dever.
Finally, it makes me nervous for folks to say that expository preaching is the "must" way, the "best" way or something like that, when I look at the sermons of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and see that their sermons would not be classified as expository.
First, Jesus and the Apostles were writing the Bible, and we are not allowed to do that. The best we can do is to echo their words.
Second, I disagree with your premise. "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." I say that's what Jesus was always doing.
EDIT - maybe it's not your premise that I disagree with. Maybe it's the definition of "exposition". I'm taking "exposition" to mean "taking the point of the passage as the point of the message" to quote the article. Using different passages in a sermon does not mean that the sermon is not expositional, I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
whatever, you bring up a good point. For us to effectively discuss the matter, participants probably need to agree on terms -- and it is probable that there is not an exact agreement among us as to the definition of "expository preaching".
The following definition by Bryan Chapell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, fits what I have been taught is an expository sermon: "...an expository message gets its main points and its sub-points directly from the text." His interview with Christianity Today may be found here:
Some of us may not mean the same thing; the above is what I mean when I use the term.
Here is the key to King's article:
I have heard too many guys suggest expository preaching is the only right method. While I preach expositionally on occasion (along with other methods as well), I recognize it is merely a method to convey biblical truth (as other forms of preaching are).
I'm glad David qualified his article with this opening preface. It puts the rest of the article in perspective.
I believe expositional preaching to be the best because it attempts to stay the closest to the original meaning of the text.
Now I will agree with some that many take it too far and cover every comma and period and by the end people have no clue what the overall meaning of the text or book is about. There must be a balance.
I have heard some solid topical messages, but the danger to me is that people can take a topic and say what they want to say about it and fit a scripture somewhere in there that may touch the topic.
While in seminary my preaching professor was asked, "Why do we have to preach this way, Charles Spurgeon was not an expositor?"
Professor without missing a beat replied, "He was Spurgeon, never forget you are not!"