What is it that we preach? I’m really “preaching to the choir” in this post. I’m addressing those who are committed to expository preaching and therefore will unhesitatingly affirm – “we preach the Bible!” Others may hesitate and desire to preach contemporary ideas or whatever else, but for those of us who, at least in theory, preach the Bible, my question stands. What is it that we preach? I see two approaches among expository preachers:
Option A – We preach the main thought of a text.
Option B – We preach an aspect of biblical theology prompted by the main thought of a text.
I see strengths in both approaches. I see potential weaknesses in the way either approach might be applied by some preachers. I see different preachers and different “schools of thought” falling under different categories in this over-simplified schema.
So how are we to select our option and move forward? I see value in both options, but on this site I urge a commitment to option A (preach the text you are preaching), with an awareness of option B (develop the theology of the text biblically if you deem it necessary). I know and respect others who essentially affirm option B for every sermon (always develop the thought through the canon to its fulfilment).
Identifying these two categories is an intriguing starting point for reflection on my own approach to preaching and hopefully for yours too. Where might this reflection lead? Is it necessary to offer rationale and critique of each? Will people recognize that I am not setting up a permanent either/or mutually exclusive construct, but rather identifying the primary leaning of the expository preacher?