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POLL: What do you carry to the pulpit

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Michael D. Edwards, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards New Member

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    Curious how preachers on the forum deliver their sermons.

    [ April 20, 2002, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  2. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple New Member

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    Presently, I'm carrying a full, 10-page mss, which I use as an outline.
     
  3. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    I try to write one manuscript a week, whether it makes it into the pulpit with me or not. I preach to the same people three times a week. I need to make sure I'm not saying the same things in the same ways. More often than not, I'll take an extended outline, typed, on front and back of a vertical half sheet of paper.

    Whatever you take with you, be sure to look at it no more than 10-15% of the time at the most. I've seen manuscript preachers who rarely look at their notes and "note-free" preachers who constantly stare at the blank pulpit in front of them.

    [ April 22, 2002, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    Michael, I assume the question probably means "what do you carry other than your Bible." I would have voted "nothing", but the two "nothings" on your poll didn't suit me. :D
     
  5. Michael D. Edwards

    Michael D. Edwards New Member

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    Yea, I suppose the assumption was there about the Bible, of course. What "nothing" would you agree with?

    Michael
     
  6. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua <img src=/cjv.jpg>

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    I'm not sure that the assumption that the Bible would be there is not necessarily a good one.

    I carried my Bible with me to the pulpit for years, and then realized that there wasn't really a good reason for it. There's already a Bible (relatively) nearby on the lectern, and usually one tucked under the pulpit as well.

    Nevertheless, it would be exceptionally rare for me to refer to either while I'm preaching. By the time I preach a text, I've spent so much time with it that I essentially have it memorized. In addition, my sermons are completely text-centered, and follow the text very closely. The text will have already been read during worship (we read the lectionary OT, Gospel, and Epistle texts in their entirety every week), and any specific quotes I want to make will be in my manuscript. Likewise with any other passages I want to cite.

    For those of you who carry a manuscript into the pulpit, do you also bring a Bible?

    Joshua
     
  7. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    I fully agree with Bryan Chappel's argument in Christ Centered Preaching, in that not only should a Bible be present in the pulpit, but it should be open. When a preacher enters the pulpit with no Bible present or closes it, he has symbolically signaled to the congregation that the encounter with God's Word has ended, if it ever was to take place in the first place.
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua <img src=/cjv.jpg>

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    Tom,

    We have an open Bible on the lectern, and my sermons are always very much text-centered (I think you've read some of them. Although I'm sure you would dispute the underlying theology, my sermons always focus on the text.) In addition, we read three full passages of Scripture during Sunday morning worship, and all of the congregational responses are built around those passages.

    I don't think there's any question by those present that our worship is Bible-centered.

    Joshua
     
  9. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    I hear you. But surely you see Chappel's point. The symbolic message portrayed by the absence of or the closing of a Bible in the sermon signals something that no conscientious preacher would want to signal.
     
  10. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua <img src=/cjv.jpg>

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    Yes, I see his point. Our lectern Bible is never closed during worship.

    Joshua
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    Michael, I took the first "nothing" to imply that a manuscript or something had been memorized. I took the second "nothing" to imply no preparation whatsoever. To me, off the cuff sounds like one who gets up and just spouts off whatever might come to mind. Extemporaneous might be a better term when referring to preaching. If it had just said "nothing (period)," I would have selected it. I do not have one standard or preferred "method" of preaching. I might teach through a book of the Bible for several months (however long it takes), but I would not take notes, outlines, etc. into the pulpit, nor would it be a memorized manuscript (the teaching would be guided by the text, so there would be no outline to memorize). I might see the need to deal with a specific topic (e.g., baptism), so there would be somewhat of a memorized outline of thought. I might preach with no particular preparation (unless several years of studying the Bible counts). That no specific text is chosen beforehand does not mean that no study, prayer or preparation has gone into the sermon (it might mean that for some). I do not have a lot of preconceived ideas about how preaching must be done, other than it must be Biblical and Christ-centered. I just do what fits for me.

    Joshua, it's just that I figured Michael did not conceive of carrying a Bible to the pulpit as excluding one from choosing the "nothing" option. In a number of churches that I attend, the preacher uses the Bible that is left on the pulpit (if he uses one at all). Of course, this would probably be for different reasons than your liturgical-type church.

    Tom, I would think that the symbolic significance of closing one's Bible would vary widely according to the background, conditioning, etc. of any particular congregation. Among some types of churches, it signals getting down to business (like rolling up one's sleeves).
     
  12. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33 New Member

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    Like most liturgical churches, the open Bible on the lecturn is nothing but a prop like statues in a catholic church, the Torah in a Synagogue etc.
     
  13. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua <img src=/cjv.jpg>

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    Have you ever worshipped in any of the places you named? In a synagogue, the reading of the Torah is a moment of celebration in the service. It is done with great reverence and gratitude.

    In our liturgical congregation, everything in worship centers around the biblical readings for that day. Those of us who plan the worship take our responsibility to the Bible very seriously, and I'd like to know how you justify that comment.

    Joshua
     
  14. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    Truthfully, (Lord forgive me for what I'm about to say :D ) Joshua has a point. We Baptists who strongly believe in the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures probably open the hymn book a whole lot more in worship than we open God's Word. I like the symbolism of a constantly open Bible. Churches where the text just prior to the pastor's sermon is the only Scripture read is not worshipping as Biblically as they think. See Neh 8. A woman who worshipped with us last night remarked she had never heard so much Scripture read in a service before. I read three passages. The longest had 6 verses. And this was an older woman :eek:
     
  15. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    But what KIND of business? Serious and applicable exposition? Rambling opinions about whatever comes to mind? I fully agree with Dr. Chappel's point and believe it to be a widely accepted one.
     
  16. Kiffin

    Kiffin New Member

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    Have you ever been in a liturgical church? :confused:

    I have also been in many Baptist Churches where 2 verses of scripture are read and then a 45 minute sermom that has nothing to do with the text he read is preached ranging from such variety of subjects as long hair, mini skirts, rock music and cigarettes :eek: and then call himself preaching the Word of God when actually the text was just window dressing for a rant. :mad:
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    What kind of business? I've seen both - serious exposition and rambling opinions. But my point had nothing to do with the quality of sermon preached, but with the symbolic significance of closing the Bible. Even Chappel is conditioned by his own background, and so is his idea of the significance of closing the Bible. And I wonder if there is much actual research on this, or if he is just stating a opinion like I am? I personally prefer an open Bible versus a closed one, but the fact remains that one's reaction to a preacher closing the Bible is to some extent culturally conditioned.
     
  18. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    That may be true to some extent. But I still believe that the overwhelmingly pervasive message that the act would send would be a negative one.
     
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    Certainly we can both believe whatever we want, and in sheer numbers your statement above is probably true. Nevertheless, if it is true, it is only true because more people than not have been conditioned to think that there is something negative about closing the Bible. Even Jesus closed the book (or folded the scroll) before He began to comment on the scripture He had read (see Luke 4:16-32), so there is obviously nothing inherently wrong with doing that! If there is nothing obviously good or evil in the act, a preacher, in my opinion, is best advised to follow the cultural conditioning of those to whom he is speaking.
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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