Category: Preaching

  • Preaching with Style: Advice from Strunk and White

    Preaching with Style: Advice from Strunk and White

    I’ll admit that my title was a bit of click-bait. I don’t mean “style” in the sense of flair or fashion, but in the sense intended by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White in their little book The Elements of Style. In the final chapter “An Approach to Style,” Strunk and White discuss the […]

  • How to Prepare Sermons: John Stott’s Six Steps

    How to Prepare Sermons: John Stott’s Six Steps

    The task of preaching God’s Word remains a constant challenge and joy to me. One of the books that has most shaped my approach to preparation is John Stott’s Between Two Worlds. In particular, his chapter “Preparing Sermons” provides a roadmap for the journey from Scripture text to delivering the sermon. Stott concedes that sermon […]

  • How I Use Evernote to Index Sermon Illustrations

    How I Use Evernote to Index Sermon Illustrations

    Shortly after I opened up my Evernote account in 2011, I realized it could be a powerful tool for capturing, indexing and retrieving sermon illustrations. Here’s how I do it. First, I use Google Chrome’s Evernote web clipper to capture articles, pictures, or anything think I would serve as a fitting illustration for a particular […]

  • How the Congregation Benefits from Preaching that Honors Authorial Intent

    How the Congregation Benefits from Preaching that Honors Authorial Intent

    In an earlier blog post, I discussed how a commitment to authorial intent drives the content and application of expository sermons. In this post, I discuss how this commitment benefits the congregation. First, preaching that honors authorial intent teaches the congregation what is truly important. A heavy diet of topical sermons can give the subtle […]

  • The Centrality of Authorial Intent in Expository Preaching

    The Centrality of Authorial Intent in Expository Preaching

    Because of my preparation for some classwork and upcoming preaching responsibilities, I’ve been thinking a lot about expository preaching, particularly the importance of authorial intent. The priority of authorial intent is something every preacher must come to grips with, particularly because of the strong temptation to skew a passage to make it fit the message. […]

  • “I Didn’t Know Scripture Well Enough to Preach Christ.”

    “I Didn’t Know Scripture Well Enough to Preach Christ.”

    I recently listened to the panel discussion from TGC’s 2011 national conference, “They Testify about Me: Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament.” I was struck by something Tim Keller said about the early years of his preaching ministry: “I realized I didn’t know Scripture well enough to preach Christ.” This candid admission […]

  • Nothing Could Have a Greater Effect

    Nothing Could Have a Greater Effect

    As I prepare to preach from Exodus 2 this Sunday, I am keeping in mind these words: So there is just one goal for a sermon–lift up Christ and his salvation. Christ likened himself to the serpent in the wilderness and spoke about his being “lifted up” (John 3:14-15). This vivid metaphor includes at least […]

  • Why Preachers Must Learn Biblical Theology

    Since I took the class New Testament Theology with Dr. Thomas Schreiner, I have been deeply impressed that a thorough grasp of biblical theology is essential for good preaching. Peter Adam has an excellent article in the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology on the relationship between good preaching and biblical theology. One sentence particularly grabbed […]

  • How Is My Preaching? [Part 2]: Platform Mechanics and the Invitation

    “Did you not see that a gentleman came forward at the invitation?” Sitting in a Chinese buffet, my friend David and I were in the middle of a painful sermon evaluation session. The way he asked that question gave me the suspicion that there was no good answer. I broke some clumps of sticky rice […]

  • How Is My Preaching? [Part 1] Why Preachers Need Feedback

    Feedback Can Be Scary! I was nervous. I had asked a friend, David Pinkley, to give me honest feedback about my preaching. On Sunday I preached in our church’s morning service, and the following Thursday David and I were sitting in a greasy Chinese buffet. I couldn’t tell whether my loss of appetite was due to the […]