Revisiting That Definition

Yesterday I mentioned Haddon Robinson’s definition of expository preaching.  Many writers seem to quote Haddon rather than offering another definition.  So let’s look at it and make a few comments.

“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.”

Importance of the “concept” – the central role of the “big idea” is vital.  Preaching is not the conveying of random details held together by their proximity in a biblical text.  This definition urges the preacher to study the passage in order to determine the big idea of the passage.

Importance of the study method – among the expository definitions that come to mind, this one is unique in including a definition of the hermeneutical approach advocated.  In order to get to the biblical concept in a passage, the preacher is to use a historical, grammatical, literary study of the passage in context.

Importance of the presentation – many people miss the two words “transmitted through” that come before the hermeneutical element.  Not only should a preacher use good hermeneutics in the study, but they should exemplify good hermeneutics in the presentation.

Importance of the Holy Spirit – again, many definitions of preaching seem to omit any reference to the Holy Spirit.  This one recognizes the role of the Spirit in applying the biblical concept in the life of the preacher, then through the preacher in the listeners.

One thought on “Revisiting That Definition

  1. “Preaching is not the conveying of random details held together by their proximity in a biblical text. ” I like this statement. It’s a succinct statement of what is wrong with so much unprofitable preaching.

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