Content Differences in Preaching and Lecturing

In his book, Preaching with Purpose, Jay Adams regularly distinguishes lecturing from preaching.  One is designed to inform, the other to motivate appropriate response and change.  One is about the Bible, the other is about the listeners and God, from the Bible.  But does this mean that applicational preachers will say less about the Bible than “lecturers” in a pulpit?  Not according to Adams:

The preacher explains the text just as fully as does the lecturer; in fact, more fully.  He explains the ‘telos’ as well.  Everything of importance that the lecturer might say about the passage (and, lecturing lends itself to by-paths, discussing unimportant details, it must be remembered) the preacher can say also.  The difference is in how they handle the same material; the difference is in their orientation and use of it, and in how they say what they say.

So a Bible lecturer in a pulpit may state truth, but the listeners don’t know why they are looking at it when it is presented.  The listener to true preaching will know the why as well as the what, of that which is presented.

A call for expository preaching is neither a call for apparently irrelevant informing (even with application tacked on at the end), nor is it a call for applicational messages weak in content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.