One Way To Make Sure You’re Preaching a Sermon, Not Leading a Bible Study

I love Bible studies. I love sermons. Both have their place and both can be tremendously beneficial in the life of the church and the spiritual diet of the believer. But I’ve observed that some sermons are actually Bible studies and some Bible studies are actually sermons. Though I will grant there can be a fine line between the two, I find it helpful to force myself to distinguish between them, especially when I am asked to lead one or …

Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

It’s a fair question for the Arminian to ask: How can you preach the free offer of the gospel when you believe in a limited atonement? How can you preach the “whosoever” of John 3:16 if you cannot be certain that Christ’s atonement was for every person? How can you say, “Turn to Christ and be saved all the ends of the earth” if Christ’s atoning sacrifice does not extend to all humanity? First, a brief theological refresher. The doctrines …

Become a Patron

Consecutive Exposition Is Not the Only Way

In many ways, the Reformed resurgence of the past couple of decades has been built upon a particular style of preaching. Many Reformed leaders have faithfully practiced and forcefully advocated what we might call “consecutive exposition.” This is the practice of preaching from the beginning of a book of the Bible to the end, then choosing a new book and doing the same with that one. It’s a practice I appreciate and one that has benefitted me tremendously both as …

The Hottest Thing at Church Today

According to a new study by Gallup, the hottest thing at church today is not the worship and not the pastor. It’s not the smoke and lights and it’s not the hip and relevant youth programs. It’s not even the organic, fair trade coffee at the cafe. The hottest thing at church today is the preaching. Not only is it the preaching, but a very specific form of it—preaching based on the Bible. And just like that, decades of church …

Letters to the Editor #13 (Parenting, Bad Preaching, Evening Services)

With another Sunday, we have another batch of letters to the editor. These letters focus in on just a few of the articles I have posted over the past 2 weeks. Comments on An Unexpected Blessing of Parenting After reading the post, I get it that the picture is probably supposed to show a father and son as friends. But, in looking at the FB post of my friend, what I saw was a “couple” made of up two men. …

The Man on the Moon

I have a particular interest in technology and the way human society has been shaped by it. Over the past few years, I have pursued this interest by reading several books and watching several documentary series on the race to the moon. Having been born in 1976, I was too young to witness anything more than the aftermath of this epic race between the United States and the Soviet Union, and maybe this is why it fascinates me so much. …

Protect Your Church in One Simple Step

A few days ago I tried to demonstrate how a church self-destructs. There is a sad progression that begins with the people growing weary and ashamed of truth. No longer able or willing to endure sound teaching, they get rid of the truth-tellers and accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. Inevitably, they soon turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. All of this is laid out in chapter four of 2 Timothy. In …

If Preaching Was Like Playing

I went to the Blue Jay game last week. The Rays were in town and I like to go and cheer/jeer for my buddy Ben who plays for the bad guys. “You stink! And thanks for the tickets!” Don’t mention it to him, but at the end of the game he represented the winning run…and struck out. That was kind of fun (for me, at least). Anyway, while I was watching the game I began to think about some of …

To Be Looked Through, Not Looked At

I wrote last week of Alister McGrath’s new biography of C.S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet). Fifty years after his death, Lewis remains a fascinating, prophetic figure and a much-loved author. His insights into the Bible were often very interesting but it is his insights into human nature that I find even more helpful. At one point McGrath writes about Lewis’ understanding of poetry and here I found truth that is applicable all over …

More Lessons Learned Along the Way

A few months ago I shared a few lessons I’ve learned along the way–a few things I’ve learned about preaching since I rather unexpectedly found myself regularly standing in the pulpit. I learned that preaching can be discouraging, that preachers are fragile, that success in preaching is difficult to measure, and that preaching is a joy. Upon further reflection, I want to add a couple of items to my list. Don’t Romanticize It Another lesson I’ve learned is that the …