Enduring Truth argues that faithfulness to Scripture is the solution to a “crisis” among African American preaching. Though misinterpreting God’s Word is not restricted to one race or culture, author Aaron Lavender identifies three factors that have precipitated the decline of black preaching specifically: racial segregation, black liberation theology, and prosperity theology.
The Christ-Centered Expositor by pastor and preaching professor Tony Merida provides a comprehensive overview of effective expository preaching that begins with the inner life of the expositor, and then moves to the essential elements of sermon preparation and delivery.
We recently reached out to Merida and asked him what makes a Christ-centered expositor, about falling short in sermons, what overlooked preacher we have the most to learn from, and more.
by Bryan Chapell
Why should a preacher’s exposition of Scripture be “Christ-centered,” as Pastor Tony Merida advocates in this wonderful text?
In part, the answer must be that Jesus teaches us to expound Scripture with his ministry in constant view. The Gospel of Luke tells us that after Jesus rose from the dead and was walking with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, he explained the Bible this way: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27 ESV).
by Tony Merida
“If I take this class, will it make me a great preacher?” On the first day of class, I tell students upfront that I cannot manufacture expositors. I wish I could. Why do I say this? For this reason: much of great preaching and teaching rests on the individual’s personal life and with the sovereign Spirit of God. One has to take personal responsibility for spiritual and theological depth, and for personal and ministry growth, and one must acknowledge that God sovereignly works in people’s lives by his own pleasure and for his own glory.
To highlight this reality, allow me to offer nine marks that contribute to the making of a great expositor. Examine your own heart as you read through this list.
by Aaron Lavender
Psalm 139 is an excellent resource for cultivating a biblical worldview regarding race relations. The entire chapter is devoted to God’s omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.
by Aaron Lavender
Ever since the catastrophic events in the garden of Eden, God’s Word has been distorted. God explicitly forbade Adam from eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, telling him, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). God’s Word to Adam was precise and well-defined. Adam presumably, in turn, was responsible for communicating God’s Word to Eve in the same manner it had been communicated to him—word for word without any additions or subtractions.
by Tony Merida
Expository preaching is an approach that is founded on certain theological beliefs, such as the role of the preacher according to Scripture, the nature of the Scripture, and the work of the Spirit. Therefore, many of the benefits for doing exposition are hard to measure. However, nine practical-theological benefits are worth noting.
There is a difference between preaching from the Bible and preaching that allows the Bible to drive the substance, structure, and spirit of the sermon.
A text-driven sermon allows the structure of the text to become buoyant, to come to the surface so that the sermon can be built around that structure.
In this way the word of God (the meaning of the text) is presented in a way that is influenced by the voice of God (the genre of the text).
by Robert Smith Jr.
In a conversation with British theologian Alister McGrath, former archbishop of Canterbury Donald Loggan remarked, “The journey from head to heart is one of the longest and most difficult we know.” Sometimes, the doctrinal preacher will begin with the head and move to the heart; other times the direction will be reversed. Regardless of the starting point, the end result must always be the same: the inclusivity of both.
We briefly corresponded with Dr. Murray J. Harris about the most recent volume in B&H Academic’s Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series on John’s Gospel.
In closely analyzing the original text of John’s Gospel, what has been the most surprising or thrilling discovery?
In my analysis of the Greek text of John’s Gospel I was amazed to discover again how simple yet profound this Fourth Gospel is. Its exquisite simplicity of diction is matched by its stunning profundity of thought. As the Logos, Jesus Christ is the inward and expressed Thought of God, the unique and perfect expression of God the Father.
by John Kight
Like many of you, my life is busy. I’m married with three children (ages three and under), I work full time in commercial insurance, I’m the director of adult education at my local church, and, on top of that, I’m also a seminary student. Finding time to sit down and study can be a difficult task because my time is spread so thin. Thankfully there are tools available like MyWSB.com (Word Search Bible) to bridge the gap between life and study.
I remember the first time I prepared a sermon after I had learned some Greek. I was in Greek 2, which meant I could translate very basic sentences from John or Mark and I recognized around 70% of the words in the Greek New Testament. I was excited to use my new skills to prepare a more fruitful sermon. [Read more…]