Preaching that is boring is preaching that talks first about us and then only tangentially about God. Preaching that is faithful is preaching that talks first about God and then only secondarily and derivatively talks about us. The God of Scripture is so much more interestingly than we are.
William Henry Willimon
A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call.
There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than the fact that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this""that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do, that you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will abound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.
The process has now run full circle: Preaching originates in personal counseling; preaching is personal counseling on a group basis; personal counseling originates in preaching. Personal counseling imparts to the preacher a practical familiarity with human nature which he would not otherwise obtain.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
Music in the church ought to be much more than an emotional stimulant. In fact, this means music and preaching should have the same aim. Both properly pertain to the proclamation of God's Word. Preaching is properly seen as an aspect of or worship. And conversely, music is properly seen as an aspect of the ministry of the Word, just like preaching. Therefore the songwriter ought to be skilled in Scripture and as concerned for theological precision as the preacher. Even more so, because the songs he writes are likely to be sung again and again (unlike a sermon that is preached only once).
John F. MacArthur Jr.
I'm writing with the assumption that most of you who are reading this book have concluded what I have: Preaching doesn't workpreaching, as we know it, is a tragically broken endeavor. The value of our practices-including preaching-ought to be judged by their effects on our communities and the ways in which they help us move toward life with God.
Preaching has always been the business of the Asiatics. The Western people are grand in organisation, social institutions, armies, governments, etc.; but when it comes to preaching religion, they cannot come near the Asiatic, whose business it has been all the time, and he knows it, and he does not use too much machinery.
Shall I give you yet another reason why you should pray? I have preached my very heart out. I could not say any more than I have said. Will not your prayers accomplish that which my preaching fails to do? Is it not likely that the Church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? Oh dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer.
I will tell you what this people need, with regard to preaching; you need, figuratively, to have it rain pitchforks, tines downwards, from this pulpit, Sunday after Sunday. Instead of the smooth, beautiful, sweet, still, silk-velvet-lipped preaching, you should have sermons like peals of thunder, and perhaps we then can get the scales from our eyes.
Except the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus make a man sick of his opinions, he may hold them to doomsday for me; for no opinion, I repeat is Christianity, and no preaching of any plan of salvation is the preaching of the glorious gospel of the living God.
The most intelligent hearers are those who enjoy most heartily the simplest preaching. It is not they who clamor for superlatively intellectual or aesthetic sermons. Daniel Webster used to complain of some of the preaching to which he listened. "In the house of God" he wanted to meditate "upon the simple varieties, and the undoubted facts of religion;" not upon mysteries and abstractions.
Christians have oppressed Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Pagans, and each other throughout their centuries of power, preaching religious intolerance as the word of Jehovah whenever they had the military, political, or economic power to make it stick - and then piously preaching brotherhood, peace, and toleration when they didn't.
What is preaching? Logic on fire! Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.
It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists' ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.
I think this is irresponsible preaching and very dangerous, and especially when it is slanted toward children, I think it's totally irresponsible, because I see nothing biblical that points up to our being in the last days, and I just think it's an outrageous thing to do, and a lot of people are making a living-they've been making a living for 2, 000 years-preaching that we're in the last days.
Charles M. Schulz
I think this is irresponsible preaching and very dangerous, and especially when it is slanted toward children, I think it's totally irresponsible, because I see nothing biblical that points up to our being in the last days, and I just think it's an outrageous thing to do, and a lot of people are making a living""they've been making a living for 2,000 years""preaching that we're in the last days.
Charles M. Schulz
Are we willing to risk being misunderstood and maligned in order that truth might be told and men might be saved? Identifying a malady and explaining its seriousness are always the first steps to finding a cure... God has ordained that men come to conviction of sin, repentance, and saving faith through preaching. Yet how can the [Holy] Spirit use our preaching if we are not willing to expose sin or call men to repentance?
If people are not sharing their faith in your church, if they're not having a quiet time, if they're not living godly lives, then you need to change your style of preaching. You are obviously not seeing lives changed through the Word of God. So what is the problem? The problem isn't the Word. The problem is your preaching style.
Let all your preaching be in the most simple and plainest manner; look not to the prince, but to the plain, simple, gross, unlearned people, of which cloth the prince also himself is made. If I, in my preaching, should have regard to Philip Melancthon and other learned doctors, then should I do but little good. I preach in the simplest manner to the unskillful, and that giveth content to all. Hebrew, Greek and Latin I spare until we learned ones come together.
While the difference between a bad sermon and a good sermon is mainly the responsibility of the preacher, the difference between good preaching and great preaching lies mainly in the work of the Holy Spirit. . . . We should do the work it takes to make our communication good and leave it up to God how and how often he makes it great for the listener.
Interesting Avil, the priests and the acolytes of the various religions and temples of Torea build their whole lives on a lie. At first, as children they believe it. Maybe as they grow older and more wise they see the absurdness of their beliefs, but by that time they have invested time and emotional energy into those beliefs, then seeing them crumble and fall apart would be too hard for them to bear. So the protect the lie, they shore it up with more lies and they ebb out their short lives, knowing what they preach is untrue, but preaching it all the same... Almost as if preaching it hard enough will make it true... Are they trying to convince their congregation? Or themselves? You are wiser than you look Avil.
We are not preaching the Gospel of a dead Christ, but of a living Christ who sits exalted at the Father's right hand, and is living to save all who put their trust in Him. That is why those of us who really know the Gospel never have any crucifixes around our churches or in our homes. The crucifix represents a dead Christ hanging languid on a cross of shame. But we are not pointing men to a dead Christ; we are preaching a living Christ. He lives exalted at God's right hand, and He "saves to the uttermost all who come to God by Him."
Henry Allen Ironside
The high ground of Christ and Him crucified must be claimed in our preaching. Any other footing is a slippery slope that inevitably descends downward into vain rhetoric and mere words. To the contrary, every pulpit must present a towering vision of the unique person and saving work of Jesus Christ. All preaching must point to His sin-bearing, substitutionary death for sinners. All exposition must lift up this Sacrificial Lamb who became a sin-bearing Substitute for all who believe. Every message must exalt this Christ, who was raised from the dead, exalted to the right hand of God the Father, and entrusted with all authority in heaven and earth.
Steven J. Lawson
Does the Bible ever say anywhere from Genesis to Revelation, 'My house shall be called a house of preaching'? Does it ever say, 'My house shall be called a house of music'? Of course not. The Bible does say, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'. Preaching, music, the reading of the Word - these things are fine; I believe in and practice all of them. But they must never override prayer as the defining mark of God's dwelling. the honest truth is that I have seen God do more in people's lives during ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.
There needs to be an order of office, but in every single office that is presented in the Scriptures there is the personal emphasis within that legal concept. In the Church the elder is an office-bearer. But both the preaching elders and the ruling elders are "ministers," and the word "minister" is a personal relationship, it does not speak of dominance. There is to be order in the Church, but the preaching elder or the ruling elder is to be a minister, with a loving personal relationship with those who are before him, even when they are wrong and need admonition.
It does not answer the aim which God had in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the Scripture, and other good books of divinity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men's hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion in their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already.