Posted by: Billy Marsh | September 1, 2007

A High View of Scripture: Prerequisites for Expository Preaching

Here at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the school hosted its annual “Northcutt Lectures” which always revolve some type of theme concerning preaching. This year Dr. R. Kent Hughes delivered three lectures arguing for expository preaching: (1) The Mind of the Preacher; (2) The Preacher and his Study; and (3) The Heart of the Preacher.

The first installment of this profound series was given during the chapel hour on Thursday, August 30th. I’m not going to post all of my notes on these lectures right now, maybe later. However, there is one quote in particular that has resonated with me ever since the first lecture that I just had to share with you all.

If I recall correctly, Dr. Hughes was quoting someone else when he said this indicting statement. All I was able to record from memory in my notes was the last name “Bass”. Maybe some of you guys who were there could drop me a line if I’m wrong so that I can give credit where credit is due. The quote was used to emphasize the uttermost necessity for the Bible to be the primary source for the content and the application of the entire sermon. In other words, the exposition of Scripture as the basis for every sermon must not be substituted by any other illustration, story, theatrical eye candy, power-point eloquence, or as I’ve said before in a previous article, the preacher’s animated re-enactment of Jesus in the Scriptures. This striking quote says:

We must not be afraid of the text for fear that it will spoil our sermon.

Wow! That’s a powerful exhortation, or perhaps rebuke, depending upon the situation. I know how often I’ve felt compelled to entertain for fear that the text itself was not powerful enough to draw the people into the sermon. This is especially true for those of you who have done youth ministry. You know how tempting and how easily we can justify giving the students everything except the Word of Truth for fear that we will lose their attention. All the while, our true fear ought to be that we are losing their souls instead. Another great quote just came to mind which Dr. Hughes spoke this morning in the final lecture, “The Heart of the Preacher”. He said every preacher must force himself into this mindset:

I preach as a dying man to dying men.

I hope these little tid-bits stir up your souls, whether you are a preacher or not, to love God’s Word, hold it high, have it ever ready on your lips, and proclaim the His truth to those who have no hope. Praise God along with Francis Schaeffer in congruence with the simple title and thesis of his book which says, He is There and He is not Silent! God is real and He has spoken!

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

~ Timothy 4:2 ~


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