Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Principles for preaching- Be Right

When preaching, it is easier to be clear if you are right.

If you haven't done the work at understanding the text in front of you, your explanation of it will be convoluted, tying people in knots, or detached and confusing.

If you try to impose a theological grid onto the text that isn't there, your sermon will be confusing.

If you are preaching on a topic, and cant describe it truthfully, thoughtfully, deeply, your sermon will be difficult to follow.

If your reading is incorrect, you will fight the text.

Clear, easier to follow sermons require more work in the study, not less.


One Salient Oversight said...

Many years ago in Sydney when I attended a Sydney Anglican Church, one of our ministers - who was also a part time night lecturer for one of the regional Moore College courses - mentioned in a sermon that the "solar system was one light year wide".

Now it was just an offhand comment during one of his illustrations... and what he said in the rest of the sermon was, as far as I know, biblical.

Nevertheless my own knowledge of astronomy - which is at a general level and nothing specialised - caused me to lose respect for the man. The fact that he didn't have the right facts made me trust less in his ministry.

And this wasn't a case of the preacher being a "man of the times" (we can certainly forgive preachers in previous generations who've gotten things wrong because their error was that of the world around them) - it was a man who was somehow woefully misinformed about something that, while certainly not "unbiblical", was simple enough to ring warning bells.

Mike W said...

Yes, well this might make into another principle
"Talk about what you know, or, alternatively, shut up".

Or another one "Be interested in the world and draw illustrations from your interest. Don't go fishing in areas you dont understand"

Now you have me interested in how wide the solar system is.

Mike W said...

Hmm , so the oort cloud is still considered within the suns gravitational pull at about 1 light year out, making gravitational definition maybe about 2 light years, though the solar wind definition is much much smaller.
thats all i got so far