Thursday, 13 March 2008

Is expositional preaching the same as verse by verse preaching?

I have been posting a few times lately about preaching and sermon preparation

Over on the Boar's head tavern Michael Spencer from Internet Monk raises an interesting question regarding expository preaching. There he says that very few who promote it as being a higher form of preaching, actually do it.
Yet is he right in saying that expository preaching is teaching / preaching verse by verse through the Scriptures? Or is expository preaching more than just that?
I think that expository preaching is more than verse by verse preaching, though it can include it. I can turn to any number of commentaries that will teach the word of God and yet I would say that by reading a commentary out to the congregation it would not really edify them.

What then is expository preaching?

I believe that expository preaching is when the preacher takes a passage of Scripture, whether it be a single verse, passage, chapter or even a whole book and preaches on the main meaning of that Scripture, applying it to our lives in a meaningful way.

John MacArthur is apparently one of the few who do preach / teach via verse by verse expository preaching and is noted to be against topical preaching. Yet personally I cannot see how topical preaching would not be part of his preaching retinue as he does preach through verse by verse of the Scriptures and comes across valid topical subjects that are part of the specific verse being expounded.

Michael at the end of your post you ask, "Am I wrong?" I think the answer to it is that you are wrong in your explanation of what expository preaching really is. But you are right in that the preachers you mentioned don't preach in the way you define expository preaching to be.


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I agree with you.

My motto for preaching is 'preaching should be expository, but not too expository.'

What I dread is that those who champion expository preaching may end up simply giving an exegetical commentary on passages.

We need to preach direct messages from the Scriptures, addressing them specifically to our hearers. That can often mean focusing on specific verses and not giving a complete exposition of whole chapters.

Every Blessing in Christ


Craig Bennett said...

Thanks Matt. I agree, that preaching has to be more than just exegesis.

I get sometimes frustrated with some attitudes when they say we have to preach the main idea and not any of the smaller ideas from any passage.

I also believe if Scripture truly is the word of God, then those smaller ideas also are Gods ideas and it can be right and proper under God to preach through those topics.

Which I think you are getting at in saying we can focus on specific verses?

Blessings craig

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am going to preach on March 30th on Jude:5-8.

Guess what, I am focusing on just the one verse about 'God spared not the angels that sinned.'