Preaching

Why Pastors Should Use More Historical Illustrations in Sermons

"People are not as familiar with the past. Frankly, we don’t know our history like we once did—biblical history, family history, and our nation’s history. Preaching always has elements of teaching. Good teaching should include regular doses of history." - Sam Rainer

175 reads

‘If you have eyes, plagiarize’: When borrowing a sermon goes too far

"When Reese typed the sermon title into Google, a link to her pastor’s latest sermon series popped up. But so did a three-year-old series from a church in Kentucky. The Kentucky sermon was almost identical to the sermon her pastor had preached." - RNS

1043 reads

Max Lucado apologizes for past sermon on homosexuality after critics slam National Cathedral invitation

“I wounded people in ways that were devastating....I should have done better. It grieves me that my words have hurt or been used to hurt the LGBTQ community. I apologize to you and I ask forgiveness of Christ.” - C.Post

1346 reads

Sowing and Reaping

Sermon no. 3109, delivered Lord’s Day evening, August 16, 1874, by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” –Galatians 6:7

I find, on reference to Luther’s Commentary on the epistle to the Galatians, and to Calvin’s Commentary on this passage, that both those learned expositors consider that this refers to the treatment of ministers by their people in the matter of their pecuniary support. They very properly point out the connection between the sixth verse and the seventh—“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

I suppose that there was a need for such an injunction in Paul’s day, and there is a need for it now. There were some hearers of the Gospel, then, who contributed generously towards the maintenance of the preacher, and the apostle says that what they gave would be like sowing good seed, in return for which God would give to them an abundant harvest, but there were others who gave sparingly, and who would therefore have a proportionately small return.

1508 reads

Lifeway Research: Pastors see preaching on race as less welcome than four years ago

"According to a Lifeway Research study, 74% of pastors agree their congregation would welcome a sermon on racial reconciliation, with 32% strongly agreeing. In 2016, however, 90% of pastors believed their congregation would be open to a sermon on the topic, with 57% strongly agreeing." - F&T

341 reads

The Art of Tacky Preaching?

Steven Mathewson’s work The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative1 is a somewhat helpful but ultimately disappointing book. Curiously, only ch. 3-6 (pp. 43-78) deal with narrative.

Mathewson’s discussion of expository preaching as “more of a philosophy than a method” is quite good (pp. 21-22). He appropriately critiques pastors who preach all genres the same way. “The analytical outline approach presses the story into a mold that often works against it, especially when the outline points are alliterated or parallel,” (p. 26).

His review of the building blocks of a narrative plot are adequete (pp. 57-78). However, a pastor will only be a competent interpreter if he is already a reader. So, attempts to explain nuts and bolts about the narrative genre are of limited value. It would be akin to me, the investigations manager for a WA-state agency, trying to explain the basics of ERISA health benefit plans to laypeople and expecting them to do something meaningful with this information. Unless you are already “in the know,” such an explanation would be a waste of time. I fear it is here, too.

2229 reads

Joy Born at Bethlehem

Sermon 1026, delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, December 24th,1871 by C. H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” — Luke 2:10-12.

2443 reads

Pages