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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
June 05, 2005
As some may have noticed, this was a busy week in the forums, and particularly in threads relating to Rick Warren (of which there are too many!). Richard Abanes has made some helpful posts where he tries to clarify certain matters. There have been many back-and-forth exchanges with him and various readers. Richard is publishing a book, set to release next month, and has agreed to an interview with me before then. So sometime later this month I will ask him all the tough questions that those who disagree with Purpose Driven teachings would like to ask of one who defends them. I will also be reading and reviewing his book as soon as it becomes available.
Coral Ridge Ministries is giving away a free book if you’re interested. It is entitled Save A Marriage, Save Our Nation and is written, of course, by D. James Kennedy. The description is as follows: “D. James Kennedy looks at the personal and public importance of marriage in this eye-opening examination into why marriage matters for all of us. Happy homes it turns out, make for a healthy culture. Dr. Kennedy also speaks candidly about what it takes to make your own marriage work, offering insight and biblical teaching to help you be everything you (and your spouse) want to be as a husband or wife.”
Earlier this week I read a quote about preaching that caught my attention. I guess it interested me because I have been doing lots of reading about preaching this year, having read books like Famine in the Land, 9 Marks of a Healthy Church and Rediscovering Expository Preaching. Each of these books teaches that expository preaching is most faithful to the biblical model.
One defining characteristic of expository preaching is that it does not dwell on non-biblical examples. It does not focus on stories, jokes and anecdotes. Instead, it seeks to stay focused on the text in question.
Here is the quote. Realize that who said it is not the point, but rather, it is the words that matter. “I do believe in confessional preaching. I believe that you should confess both your strengths and your weaknesses. You don’t dwell on yourself, but in many ways the minister is the message. The word must become flesh. The best kind of preaching is incarnational preaching. The most effective message is when I am able to get up and say, ‘This is what God is doing in [the pastor’s] life this week. This is what I am learning. This is what I need to believe, what I need not to believe, what I need to do, what to not do.’”
I’m wondering if this type of preaching can be consistent with expository preaching. Does the pastor need to share what he is learning and what he needs to believe, or should he instead try to stick closely with the text? Or as this person says, is the minister the message, or should the minister try to do the exact opposite and fade into the background so that the message is the message and the minister is but a mouthpiece?
Help me out here as I try to understand different types of preaching…