Category Archives: preaching

Preaching resources

I haven’t been blogging for quite a while now, but I’ve started a project today to add resources on preaching to this blog. I collected them while I was maintaining the Gilnahirk Baptist Church Web site, and over the next few months I’ll be adding to those resources, but during the transition most of the links will go back to the church site where the pages still exist, but are not being updated. Who knows, I might even find some time to make a few posts on the blog itself.

Reading on preaching

Here’s my online ‘reading’ on preaching this month, as posted to my church Web site in the Preaching Resources section. These resources were posted on 26 October 2010:

Reading on preaching

Here’s my online reading on preaching this month, as posted to my church Web site in the Preaching Resources section. These resources were posted on 26 September 2010:

(The links after “added to” will take you to the page on the church site where they are listed permanently, while other links are to the resources and reviews themselves.)

Reading on preaching

I do a fair bit of reading on the topic of preaching. I usually post links to the best of my reading at my church Web site in the Preaching Resources section, along with any books I discover would be of interest to preachers. Where I can I try to post reviews of books I discover, since I haven’t read all of them. I thought it would be useful to cross-post the new entries here so that others might benefit from them. (The links after “added to” will take you to the page on the church site where they are listed permanently, while other links are to the resources and reviews themselves.)

Here’s the most recent batch of reading and research (added the site on 31 August).

Created or curated sermons?

David Murray has some helpful thoughts on sermon preparation in his article Creator or curator? today. I find myself in the creator camp, but I know the appeal of curation, it’s a time thing. Somehow I just can’t bring myself to abandon creation. I know the difference it makes to my understanding of Scripture, so I’m sure the hearers do too. The amount of time that it requires is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Ironically, this is a curation posting!

Preaching the Gospel

“Preach the gospel; if necessary use words” is like saying “Tell me your phone number; if necessary use digits.”

So says J. D Grear, and he’s absolutely right. The Gospel does not and cannot exist without words. Of course, there’s more to the Gospel than simply preaching, there needs to be a life and lifestyle that is compatible with it, and commending of it. But the Gospel cannot be communicated without words, ever. The Cross is not simply an event or action. It is an explained event, explained by the apostles in the New Testament, and by our Lord himself as he hung on it. No words, no Gospel.

HT. Justin Taylor

Expositors’ Conference

I’ve just returned from the Expositors’ Conference in Edinburgh, and the mp3s are available online for free to any one who is interested. The sessions were conducted by Steve Lawson, Peter Grainger, Craig Dyer, Iain Murray, and Ian Shaw. It was tough going, but well worth it, with a variety of speakers and subjects covered. I found all the sessions profitable, though I found Peter Grainger’s sessions on Jeremiah and Steve Lawson’s evening ministry on Psalms 1 + 19 + 119 (curious numbering pattern, useful for remembering the key psalms on the Word of God).

Now that the summer’s all but over, I hope to resume blogging a little more regularly. I have a few things gathered up from my online inactivity that I plan to post, time permitting.

A congregation of preachers

Commenting on Matthew 13: 53-58, William Barclay says,

“There is a great lesson here. In any church service the congregation preaches more than half the sermon. The congregation brings an atmosphere with it. That atmosphere is either a barrier through which the preacher’s word cannot penetrate; or else it is such an expectancy that even the poorest sermon becomes a living flame.” (p. 92)

What a responsibility for every congregation.


William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, Chapters 11-28 (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, [1957] 1975)

Four hundred silent years?

It is commonplace to describe the period between Malachi and Matthew as the four hundred silent years. They were nothing of the sort. Yes, there was no new Scripture, but God was not silent, he still spoke. His people had his Word (the Old Testament). If God was silent it can only have been because they had stopped listening.

And what of our own day? It is no more silent than then. We have God’s Word (now the Old and New Testaments). God still speaks.

Al Mohler applies this forcefully to preaching:

I fear that there are many evangelicals today who believe that God spoke but doubt whether He speaks. They know and talk about the fact that God spoke in the Old Testament but think now that He no longer does so and that they must therefore invent new ways to convince people to love Him. But if you call yourself a preacher of God’s Word, and you think that all of God’s speaking was in the past, then resign. I say that with deadly seriousness. If you do not believe the God now speaks from His Word–the Bible–then what are you doing every Sunday morning? If you are not confident that God speaks as you rightly read and explain the Word of God, then you should quit.

But if you do believe that–if you truly believe that God speaks through His Word–then why should you substitute anything else in place of the expository preaching of the Bible? What is more important for your people than to hear from God, and how else is that going to happen unless you, like Ezra, open the book, read it, and explain it to them? Just as in Deuteronomy, this is a matter of life and death, and far too many pastors who deeply believe that God does speak have abandoned His voice in Scripture. (pp. 58-9)

That pulls no punches. Those of us who preach need to take this seriously. And when we take it seriously, so, too, will congregations.

God is not silent. He still speaks, as ever he spoke. The silent years have been over since he said, “Let light be.”


R. Albert Mohler, Jr., He is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008)