Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Explosive preaching

The best book I have read for my massive essay is this one. If you want one book that unpacks the history of preaching and offers some excellent tips on finding improvement then read Explosive Preaching.

It has always struck me that in my whole selection experience for the Church of England no one ever asked me if I could preach. This is surely quite an important question. They wanted to know if I was the right sort of person to give out communion but seemed disinterested in whether I was the right sort of person to stand in the pulpit. They require a slightly different skill set do they not or have I missed something? As P T Forsyth once said, the history of preaching is the battle between the altar and the pulpit. This might explain why my lifetimes experience of sitting on an Anglican pew so often left my heart unmoved by God's word by the person supposedly tasked with doing just that.

The other extreme is to suggest that Expository Preaching is the one and only form a sermon must take. This was the way I was taught at Oxford and seemed to me rather narrow and dismissive of other forms, Now, of course, if by expository preaching we mean preaching from a text then I agree with John Stott that all preaching must be expository. However, I rather like this quote I found from Fosdick which made me smile.

“Only the preacher proceeds still upon the idea that folks come to church desperately anxious to discover what happened to the Jebusites” ....he continues ....."If people do not come to church anxious about what happened to the Jebusites, neither do they come yearning to hear a lecturer express his personal opinion on themes which editors, columnists and radio commentators have been dealing with throughout the week"

For Fosdick the trick was to start with the NEED.

There are lots more where this came from so do get hold of this if you can.

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