Archive for the ‘preaching’ Category

Preacher: Read!

May 29, 2014

John Wesley: If You Want to Be a Better Preacher Become a Better Reader

Sermon like the peace and mercy of God

May 19, 2014

New parishioner after evensong:  “I loved your sermon, vicar – it was like the peace and mercy of God!”

Vicar: “Oh that’s very gratifying, could you be more precise?”

“It was like the peace of God because it “passeth all understanding” and like the mercy of God in that it “endureth for ever.”

source unknown

preaching should be interesting

May 19, 2014

Doctor: Does your snoring bother your wife?

Preacher: It bothers the whole congregation!


Preachers are six days invisible and one day incomprehensible.


If all the people who fell asleep in church on a Sunday morning were laid out end to end…. they would be a whole lot more comfortable.

Abraham Lincoln


Be interesting; be clear; be practical

May 19, 2014

To be listened to is the first thing: so be interesting. To be understood is the second thing: so be clear. To be useful is the third thing: so be practical.

Bob Telford?

Some are dead; you must rouse them

May 19, 2014

Some are dead; you must rouse them. Some are troubled; you must comfort them. Others are burdened; you must point them to the burden-bearer. Still more are puzzled; you must enlighten them. Still others are careless and indifferent; you must warn and woo them.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the purposes of preaching

The highest service that men may attain to on earth is to preach the Word of God

April 19, 2014

The highest service that men may attain to on earth is to preach the Word of God

John Wycliffe

if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused

May 29, 2013

You must translate every bit of your Theology into the vernacular. This is very troublesome and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one’s own meaning. A passage from some theological work for translation into the vernacular ought to be a compulsory paper in every Ordination examination.

C.S. Lewis(p. 98, God in the Dock).

Preaching: giving what has been received

January 26, 2012

Augustine saw his role as preacher, and the role of all preachers, as feeding the flock. The scriptural idea of breaking bread or feeding the multitude drives his view of preaching. “I go to feed so that I can give you to eat,” he writes. “I am the servant, the bringer of food, not the master of the house. I lay out before you that from which I also draw my life.” He told Jerome, “If I do gain any stock of knowledge, I pay it out immediately to the people of God.”

Augustine of Hippo, Peter Brown, (1966) 252.

A preacher should have the skill to teach the unlearned simply, roundly, and plainly

December 5, 2011

A preacher should have the skill to teach the unlearned simply, roundly, and plainly; for teaching is of more importance than exhorting. . . . When I preach I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have above forty in the congregation. I have all my eyes on the servant maids and the children. And if the learned men are not well pleased with what they hear, well, the door is open.

Martin Luther

What is preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason!

December 5, 2011

There was an old preacher whom I knew very well in Wales. He was a very able old man and a good theologian; but, I am sorry to say that, he had a tendency to cynicism. But he was a very acute critic. On one ocassion he was present at a synod in the final session of which two men were preaching. Both these men were professors of theology.

The first man preached, and when he had finished this old preacher, this old critic turned to his neighbour and said, ‘Light without heat.’ Then the second professor preached – he was an older man and somewhat emotional. When he had finished the old cynic turned to his neighbour and said, ‘Heat without light.’

Now he was right in both cases. But the important point is that both preachers were defective. You must have light and heat, sermon plus preaching.

Light without heat never affects anybody; heat without light is of no permanent value. It may have a passing temporal effect but it does not really help your people and build them up and really deal with them.

What is preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason!

Are these contradictions? Of course they are not. Reason concerning this Truth ought to be mightily eloquent, as you see it in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain is a defective theology; or at least the man’s understanding of it is defective. Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.

A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsover to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.

What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this. It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence.

Martyn Lloyd Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 1985, p.97