Monday, November 05, 2007

Expository Preaching

I'm kind of new to expository preaching. That is the direction I am heading. My past messages have been mostly topical. I am in the process of learning how to be more of an expositor. My brother told me about a message online entitled "What is Expository Preaching?" by Dr. Steven J. Lawson. Expository preaching is different than topical preaching. Expository concentrates on a specific text and discusses topics covered within that text, whereas the topical concentrates on a specific topic and references texts covering the topic. Mark Dever defines expository preaching as “Preaching that takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones states, “In a sermon the theme or the doctrine is something that arises out of the text and its context, it is something which is illustrated by the text and context.”

Here is a great quote from Dr. Lawson's message:

“Preaching without exposition is all hot air; it is loud but there’s no life. Preaching without exposition is just shallow and superficial and surface. Preaching without exposition exemplifies what one pastor wrote in his notes: “weak point, yell here.” It’s all style but no substance. Preaching without exposition is all theatrics but no theology. Preaching without exposition tries to fill the building without filling the pulpit. All preaching and no exposition trivializes the Scripture, it abuses the pulpit, it manipulates people and it results in a church of unconverted, unregenerate people who show up for supper club on Sunday morning; it is dangerous. Exposition, on the other hand, without preaching is all content but no challenge; all information but no exhortation. Exposition without preaching is all cerebral and is cognitive; it is dead, it is lifeless, it is stoic, it is cold, it is calloused, it is calculating, it is clinical, it is boring, it is like hearing someone read the phone book to you. Exposition without preaching produces people that are imbalanced; they’re all head, no heart, they’re all hearing, no doing. All exposition and no preaching produces a congregation of egg-heads, with little passion and little personality, and little push to God’s will and God’s work.”

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