Mars Hill in
Jan 10, 2009
Peter Mead has posted four alliterated reasons for preaching biblical narratives:
1. Stories are plenteous
2. Stories are pervasive
3. Stories are powerful
4. Stories are preferred.
You can read the entire post here.
Jan 9, 2009
Jim Hamilton asks and answers the question above here. In the past I have basically agreed with the view expressed by Milliard Erickson that, "It should therefore be observed often enough to prevent long gaps between times of reflection on the truths it signifies, but not so frequently as to make it seem trivial or so commonplace that we go through the motions without really thinking about the meaning” (Christian Theology, rev. ed., p. 1134). But Jim makes a good point and I may have to rethink my position.
Jan 8, 2009
Michael Jensen has posted on the "Ten Worst Habits of Preachers." According to Jenson the ten (or eleven see below) are:
1. Merely 'explaining/teaching the Bible' and not preaching the living Word of God. (I think we should ban the phrase 'we are now going to hear the Bible explained'. I don't need it explained. I need it preached.)
2. Introducing us to the text and not to the issue addressed by the text.
3. Providing overelaborate explanations of the biblical-theological background to no great end.
4. Moralising from the Old Testament.
5. Reading every OT text immediately in terms of Christology without regard to its own particular context and meaning and purpose.
6. Speaking down to the congregation; assuming we are simpletons and do not read or think for ourselves. That our questions just need better information in order to answer them.
7. Getting Penal Substitution (or whatever the hot-button issue is for your church!) from every single text.
8. Illustrations that confuse more than illuminate. That's...most of 'em.
9. Never referring to self and own Christian faith in sermon. (Of course, the opposite is worse: using the pulpit for autobiographical purposes. Yuck.)
10. Making ill-informed generalisations about culture/sociology from a knee-jerk conservative standpoint.
11. (sorry) Pop-psychologising.
You can read the entire post here.
Jan 7, 2009
Jan 6, 2009
Jim Hamilton suggests that we ought to preach the superscriptions of the Psalms as part of the text. He argues his point on primarily on text-critical grounds. In any case, Hamilton is right in that preachers/teachers/translators often pay too little attention to the superscriptions. Read the entire post here.
Jan 5, 2009
Richard Pervo, commenting on Acts 1:6-8 notes:
“In place of an answer [to the question in1:6], the apostles receive a promise that functions as the indicative and imperative. The indicative resides in the promise of power, which will enable the hearers to fulfill the implicit imperative of world mission. The ends of the earth rather than the end of the world will be the subject of the book.”
Richard I Pervo, Acts: A Commentary, Hermeneia, ed. Helmut Koester (
Michael Thompson has reviewed The Lord's Supper: Five Views, ed. by Gordon T. Smith here. Although I have not purchased or read this book, I find such works helpful. As many of my readers know, the meaning and significance of the Lord's Supper continues to be debated.
Jan 4, 2009
Dr. David Allen, Professor of Preaching, Director of the Southwestern Center for Expository Preaching, George W. Truett Chair of Ministry, and Dean of the School of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has spent much of his academic career pursuing the issue of the authorship of Hebrews. The topic was the focus of his doctoral dissertation, a much expanded version of which is due to be published in the Fall of 2009 by Broadman/Holman (The Authorship of Hebrews: The Case for Luke). He also has the commentary on Hebrews in the New American Commentary series due for publication this year. Having done some editorial work in both of these volumes I can testify to the careful and exhaustive nature of the content in both of these works.
The long and short of it is that Allen believes that Luke is the author of Hebrews. Although I still remain a bit of an agnostic on the issue, the arguments presented for Lukan authorship are substantive. In fact I believe the argument for Lukan authorship is the strongest of the arguments for any candidate (e.g., Paul, Apollos, Barnabas, etc,). In any case, a helpful summary of Dr. Allen’s view can be listened to or watched here. Scroll down to the 8.28.08 date and the message entitled “Jesus, Scripture and Sermon as Word of God.”