Welcome to BiblicalPreaching.net! This site started as a little bookshelf of posts relating to preaching. But over the years it has grown into a potentially overwhelming basement full of posts. You are welcome to trawl the site, select categories from the menu in the sidebar or search for key terms. Even so, it may still seem overwhelming. So I’ve put together an intro pack of posts for you to look at. If you read through the following posts you should feel much more oriented to the content on this site. [I have also included one or two extra posts in squared brackets in case you want to chase an issue a little further before starting to explore on your own.] So, ten stepping stones into the site:
1. The Bible & Preaching. Underlying every post on this site is a commitment to the Bible as God’s inspired Word, and the vital need for biblical preaching for the health of the church. Please see this post on the power of expository preaching. [Extra posts on inspired Scripture, on what we do with it, and on the need for preaching.]
2. Commitment to “Expository” Preaching Rightly Understood. Furthermore, I understand expository preaching to be a philosophy of preaching or a commitment to Scripture rather than a form of preaching. That is, expository preaching is about the role of the Bible in the message, rather than a certain type of sermon that can be distinguished from other sermon types like “topical” or “textual.” Here is a post that gets into this more. (The reason I use the term “Biblical Preaching” rather than “Expository Preaching” is because too many people inadvertently associate expository preaching with a certain sermon style or form, and often with negative associations!)
3. Haddon Robinson’s Influence. My training in homiletics was from teachers trained by Dr Haddon Robinson, and then I had the privilege of having Dr Robinson as my DMin mentor. Robinson’s school of thought is sometimes called the “Big Idea” approach to preaching. His fingerprints are all over this site, although he has probably never looked at it! His definition of expository preaching is worth pondering:
Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through the preacher, applies to the hearers.
4. Biblical Preaching Defined. While I affirm every element of Robinson’s definition of expository preaching, I tend to use the following four-part definition (and resist attempts to add a fifth element):
A. Biblical preaching is a work of God, by the empowering of His Spirit, in which the preacher
B. Rightly understands the true message of a biblical text (or texts) and
C. Effectively communicates that message by their words (and life)
D. Emphasizing the contemporary relevance to their listeners.
5. Eight-Stage Preparation Process. When I teach preaching, I tend to use an eight-stage approach to the process. This reflects my approach, but is primarily about the logical sequence of the stages. I know that I am not the only one to vary the sequence when preparing sermons, but I maintain that logically the eight-stage progression makes the most sense. These eight steps are listed in the categories menu on the site. Here is a post to consider.
6. Effective Preaching Is Not Only About Preparation and Content. I understand why many are hesitant to address matters of delivery, but on this site various aspects of delivery are addressed. The best content, poorly delivered, is a poor stewardship of our ministry. So on the site you will find posts relating to delivery, as well as related issues like the use of Powerpoint. [Extra posts on how to make listeners uncomfortable, and vivid communication.]
7. True Preaching Flows From a Life Gripped by God. You will find numerous posts on the site that address aspects of the personal and spiritual life of the preacher. Directly or indirectly these issues will have an effect on our preaching. This aspect of the blog is most important, and it does impact our preaching. [Extra posts on pride, reading, prayer, heroes, God, and more.]
9. Cor Deo. I have generally kept the blog accessible to as many as possible. Hopefully this has maximized the potential readership from across the theological and denominational spectrum. Cor Deo is a mentored training programme that I am privileged to be involved in. Over on the Cor Deo site we will write more specifically in respect to theology and biblical matters. Roughly one in ten posts on this site are actually hosted over on the Cor Deo site (please take a look around www.cordeo.org.uk, sign up for email updates, “like” it on facebook, etc.) [Incidentally, in connection with Cor Deo, there have been some links to other resources: an interview and an article on theologynetwork.org, and the new podcast, available on iTunes.]
10. Comments. Some posts may spark a quick flurry of comments, others won’t. You are most welcome to engage with any post at any time, or to browse without comment. I hope this site can be helpful to you as you join me in pursuing God’s pleasure in the ministry of biblical preaching.
Here is the original explanation of the site from when it was launched, back in May 2007:
This is a simple concept – a blog for discussing anything related to preaching. We hope to generate discussion of how to preach specific Biblical passages, aspects of delivery, preaching theory and also book reviews. The goal is to stimulate better Biblical preaching.
We are committed to Biblical Preaching. We believe in expository preaching. But what does that mean? It does not mean we believe in boring, tedious, dull or irrelevant proclamation. There are so many unhelpful and misleading definitions of terms like Biblical and expository preaching. Biblical preaching is a preaching genre that refers to the message being derived from Biblical study and reflection. This might be contrasted with other genre like doctrinal (derived from theology) or topical (derived from current issues) preaching. Expository preaching is about the authority, centrality and influence exerted by the Biblical text in the preaching process and event. Neither the “Biblical” nor “Expository ” labels place any limitation on preaching in regard to form or style. Basically we believe in preaching that is Biblical in source and in authority, not to mention content and purpose.
Expository preaching is about the message coming out of accurate interpretation of Biblical text(s), allowing the main idea of the original author to exercise authority over the message as that idea is appropriately and relevantly applied to the preacher and, through the preacher, to the listeners. Again, expository preaching is not about form (verse-by-verse, three points and a poem, deductive, narrative, evangelistic, or whatever), it is about authority. The message carries the authority of God and His Word inasmuch as the message and messenger reflect accurate understanding and appropriate application of His Word. The goal is to allow the Word of God to do its work in the listener through explanation, proclamation, clarification, exhortation and so on . . . all aspects of communication. Our understanding of expository preaching allows great freedom, for there are essentially no rules in this process, only the constraints of accurately interpreting the text and effectively communicating with the listener.