Monday, August 15, 2005

Preaching as worship

In a three-part blog series this past week Albert Mohler discussed the decline of expository preaching in evangelical churches (Thanks to Peter at Stronger Church for pointing to this series). Part one looks at the dangers of downplaying the role of preaching in corporate worship:
Though most evangelicals mention the preaching of the word as a necessary or customary part of worship, the prevailing model of worship in evangelical churches is increasingly defined by music, along with innovations such as drama and video presentations. When preaching retreats, a host of entertaining innovations will take its place.
Too true, too true. In part 2, Dr. Mohler defines expository preaching and makes this observation:
Authentic Christian preaching carries a note of authority and a demand for decisions not found elsewhere in society. The solid truth of Christianity stands in stark contrast to the flimsy pretensions of postmodernity. Unfortunately, the appetite for serious preaching has virtually disappeared among many Christians, who are content to have their fascinations with themselves encouraged from the pulpit.
In part 3, Dr. Mohler challenges Fred Craddock's idea that preaching is by "one without authority":
In the final analysis, the ultimate authority for preaching is the authority of the Bible as the word of God. Without this authority, the preacher stands naked and silent before the congregation and the watching world. If the Bible is not the word of God, the preacher is involved in an act of self-delusion or professional pretension.

Expository preaching must once again be central to the life of the church and central to Christian worship. In the end, the church will not be judged by its Lord for the quality of its music but for the faithfulness of its preaching.
While I think Dr. Craddock's work is worth more attention than Dr. Mohler seems to give it, when it comes to his thoughts on the value of expository preaching, I say, "Preach on, brother!"


Blogger Dan Edelen said...

Al Mohler and I don't always see eye to eye, but we certainly agree on this.

Not only does the congregation benefit from expositional preaching, but because it is harder to do, pastors ultimately benefit from it the most. I would much rather have a man pastoring my church that can preach through the book of Romans than someone who tosses out nothing more than topical fluff we've heard a million times before (oh no, not another round of "God and Your Finances" already!)

Or am I just too cynical? ;-)

1:01 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I don't think you're being too cynical at all. And thanks for the mention of Romans -- that's what I'm preaching through right now! Peace.

7:08 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Dan Edelen said...


Did you check out D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones's books on Romans? I once read that he preached through Romans every Sunday from 1941-1952! Now THAT'S some kind of dedication and analysis, too. I wonder if Lloyd-Jones knew more about Romans than Paul did!

9:30 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I've not read L-J's book, but it sounds like one I'd like--I'll be looking for it. I'm now on my second sermon from Romans 8, and I would like to do about a 6-part series on just that chapter one day.

5:28 PM, August 16, 2005  

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