As part of A Year of Books on Preaching, I’m posting a review a month of a preaching book, and then a list of quotes and takeaways.
Top Ten Quotes
We’ve dreamt of making a difference. But what if differences are made by remembering where we’d be without God and then ministering to others out of that knowledge? What if preaching requires something prior to homiletics? (p. 11)
The prayer of many of us is that God would raise up a generation of expository evangelists; preachers who understand biblical exposition in missional terms; preachers whose hearts burst with love for sinners; preachers who no longer dismiss biblical exposition when they think of engaging culture; preachers who no longer expound the Bible with disregard for the unchurched people around them. (pp. 11-12).
Particularly in the West, preachers will have to choose a countercultural measure of success and efficiency. (p. 18)
Preachers who desire to cross the bend of a post-everything world must learn again to pray, to fast, to find quiet before God, to find the pleasure of his company and the provision of his power. (p. 18)
Identify those areas of reality that a preacher does not talk about and you will discover those spheres of reality that people are daily trying to navigate without the light of God’s Word. (p. 30)
It is our greater love more than our greater technology or techniques that will glorify God and transform a generation. (p. 84)
It is helpful for preachers to recall that once we’ve mastered the Scriptures we have only mastered the baby-talk of God. (p. 114)
Preaching requires a lifetime to get right. It resembles a marathon, not a sprint. Faithful preachers, therefore, require a connection to generations and geographies. God has been preaching long before we were born. (p. 115)
Like those who have gone before us, our voices are ordinary, our intellects are limited, and our personal capacities to stop the madness are minimal. But the physician has come! (p. 116)
Preaching is an act of spiritual war. (p. 244)
- When studying a passage, ask, “What under-the-sun seasons of life are evidenced in this text?”
- Learn the skills necessary for preaching ignored sections of Scripture with sensitivity, as well as topics like war, violence, and hell.
- Look for echoes of creation, fall, redemption, and heaven.
- Guard against expository eclipse: emphasizing Christ as our example over Christ as our Savior.
- Speak as if non-Christians are present and that you love them. Show them that you understand and can articulate their thoughts.
- Vary you’re preaching. Learn both precision and story telling. Match your language to the language of the text (poetic, technical, or ordinary).
- Organize your preaching around four stories: God, people, place, and conscience.
- Shape your sermon from the posture of the text: prophetic (repent-and-live oriented), catechetical (teaching oriented), or sagelike (creation and making-sense-of-reality oriented).
- Learn your limits. Cry out for the Holy Spirit’s power.
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