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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Expository Preaching?

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

Of politically correct humanist self-sufficiency couched in Darwinian overtones and faith flavored promises of going to the next level regarding profundity and wealth, I shall prove to be rather ignorant. I come not with enticing words, three points and a poem, nor a fundraiser in the form of a theatrical performance. No. I fear God too much to allow the world to classify me as a preacher by today’s standards. Just call me Brother Brian if you please. For preaching of the highest order, I would direct ones attention to the oratory of John Chrysostom, other Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers willing to be burned at the stake or thrown into the lion’s den rather than recant their testimony of Christ as Lord, and Jonathan Edwards.

Concerning modern expository preaching, I would also caution us that it is possible to go completely overboard with exposition for the sake of exposition even when based upon thorough and defensible exegesis. Reason, even when doctrinally sound and theologically relevant, cannot save, heal, deliver, or set any captive free from sin. Personally, I will always tend to reject an argument that is mean spirited or made by an individual or group claiming absolute moral and intellectual superiority. In this regard, I cannot imagine that I am altogether different from most people. The question then arises, “Is it Christ or the preacher that is being lifted up?”

We are not angels, saints. Therefore, the mechanics of our communication can easily become more important to us than the power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) meant to be conveyed by our singular message of hope, the kernel of which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). We can therefore, much like the Pharisees, “err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) Has God made us to be ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit? Yes! For the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Shame on us, if, by way of arrogance and pride, we work against the abundance of life that is the inheritance of all those who are in Christ. Let faith and not condemnation come when we have spoken.

 © 2012 Brian L Hunter

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