I've enjoyed working through Tony Merida's book Faithful Preaching. This is a great book. It's almost an abridged version of Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching. It covers most of the same ideas in a more accessible manner. I'll be using it for training preachers in Karis Church. For the next few days, I'll blog through some of its teachings here. I'll post some of the best quotes. Stay tuned. Chapter One: On Preaching and Preachers
In the opening chapter, Merida goes about defining exactly what we're talking about. First, he asks the question, "What is a preacher?" This, he says, can be explained by talking about both the preacher's calling and message. He is a man called by God. He stewards the word of God.
Second, he turns to considering, "What is preaching?" He shares several definitions but explains it this way, holding that preaching must be Trinitarian in nature:
Therefore, I simply propose that faithful preaching is the responsible, passionate, and authentic declaration of the Christ-exalting Scriptures, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Triune God.
Third, Merida looks at the question, "What is expository preaching?" This is our practice in Karis Church. We want the points of our sermon to be driven by the points of the passage. Merida argues that many see expository preaching as a particular form or style. However, he argues that the "form of the message is secondary to the process of study and content of the sermon. Exposition, or Word-centered preaching, may be done in various ways respectfully." He defines expository, or expositional, preaching this way:
In short, expository preaching may be called Word-centered, Word-driven, or Word-saturated preaching. More descriptively, expository preaching is the exegetical and Spirit-driven process of explaining and applying the meaning of a particular text or texts for the purpose of transforming people into the image of Christ (Merida, Faithful Preaching, ch. 1).
Fourth, the author gives some benefits of expository preaching. They are, as follows:
- Exposition calls for attention to be given to biblical doctrine.
- Exposition, done well, is good for both audiences: believers and non-believers.
- Exposition gives authority to the message.
- Exposition magnifies Scripture.
- Exposition is God-centered not man-centered.
- Exposition provides a wealth of material for preaching.
- Exposition grows the person delivering the Word.
- Exposition ensures the highest level of biblical knowledge for the congregation.
- Exposition teaches people how to study the Bible on their own.
Fifth, Merida leaves us with some caveats: expositional preaching, if done poorly, can be dull, irrelevant, and monotonous. It can also become too detailed, can lead to pride, and can often be Christ-less. These dangers are real and must be avoided. However, they shouldn't keep us from pursuing faithful preaching.