Preaching aims to change hearers

(Epictetus said), ”Tell me, who after hearing your lecture or discourse became anxious about or reflected upon himself?’ That is the test. If people can listen to us without becoming anxious about themselves or reflecting on themselves we have not been preaching. ‘Or who,’ asks Epictetus, ‘as he went out of the room said, “The philosopher put his finger upon my faults. I must not behave that way again.

That is an excellent statement of my view of preaching; that is what preaching is meant to do. It addresses us in such a manner as to bring us under judgment; and it deals with us in such a way that we feel our whole life is involved, and we go out saying, “I can never go back and live just as I did before. This has done something to me; it has made a difference to me. I am a different person as the result of listening to this.”

Martin Lloyd Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 1985, p.55-56

 

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