Feature Articles

Here is a list of medium to full-length articles focused on biblical preaching. 

 

Preaching and the Two Halves of Life – Clint Heacock

Preachers could reassess the purpose of preaching on the basis of this concept: preaching should be about helping people to transition into the second half of life.

 

Preaching the Gospel – Kenton C. Anderson

The preaching of the gospel is neither a fad nor the key to membership in a particular movement. When we communicate the Bible according to its intent, we are serving the purposes of a God who is actively reconciling his creation to himself by the gospel. When we serve the gospel according to its elemental interests, we will engage people, instruct people, convict people, and inspire people. Biblical preaching is gospel preaching. Gospel preaching is integrative preaching.

 

Preaching Through Your Church – Kenton C. Anderson and Robert Campbell

When we preach, we don’t just preach to our church but through our church. We preach in order to create conversations that follow in small groups, at dinner tables and in coffee shops. What we offer from the pulpit needs to be able to be served at the table as a palatable meal by our people. These are the people we walk with daily and the ones who will walk the good news we preach into every corner of our community while we are home recovering from the sermon.

 

Three Challenges for Homiletics Today – Kenton C. Anderson

When asked to describe three challenges facing homiletics today, my immediate response is, “what, just three?” Forced as I am, however, to narrow my reflection, I would speak of an increased challenge to the nature of authority in the preaching task today, a related pressure to give greater place to dialogue in our preaching, and in consequence, a perception of a lack ofaspiration among the young among us who no longer hear the call to preach or find such calls preach compelling.

 

Preaching the Candidating Sermon – Scott Gibson

Candidating at a church for a pastoral position is like going on a first date and then getting married. The procedure resembles a whirlwind romance. In a matter of weeks a candidate goes through the interview process and ends up as the pastor of a church. Henry A. Virkler observes: “Probably a single sermon, or even a single day, is too short a time for a pastor or a congregation to interact enough to know whether their expectations of each other are compatible.” But, for most churches, this is the process — the only process. The key for seminarians and pastors in search of God’s call in a church is to be sensitive to the dynamics involved and to trust the Lord though it.

 

Preaching Matthew’s Parables– Stephen Wright

Gospel readings from Matthew include many instances in which Jesus tells a story – as well as others in which he utters pithy sayings or paints word pictures – all of which are covered by the term ‘parable’. What do we make of Matthew’s portrait of Jesus the storyteller and ‘parabler’? And how might this portrait spark the preacher’s creative task?

 

Jesus and Paul as Models for PreachingStephen Wright

In recent debates in homiletics, it has been common to evoke Jesus and/or Paul as supposed models for the task of the preacher today. Such invocation raises many questions which it is far beyond the scope of a single paper to address thoroughly. My aim in what follows is to outline three broad angles from which this practice may be critiqued, and then suggest how the use of Jesus and Paul as models might nonetheless be incorporated within a more satisfactory overall framework for preachers’ formation.

 

The Elusive Illustration – Chuck Sackett

Somehow stories stick…and the sermon will be remembered for the story even if not for the message. That being the case, how can the stories (a.k.a., illustrations, metaphors, images) be so textually-driven, that when listeners remember the story, they are drawn back to the text?

 

Preaching the Gospel as Meta-Narrative to Postmoderns – Glenn Watson

Secular hearers are generally not the least interested in what we have to say, and if they are, it is usually for merely therapeutic reasons. They hope we might give them some story, some insight, some pithy saying that will inspire them and help them make it through the day. However, they distrust our serious claims to Truth, seeing them as destructive, dangerous, unsophisticated and uncivilized. Telling helpful stories is one thing, but affirming a grand story, making universal claims, drawing all-inclusive conclusions—this is something else altogether.

 

How to Preach a Good Sermon – or a Great One! – Kenton C. Anderson

Most people can recognize a good sermon when they hear one, thought they might have difficulty articulating why. For those of us who try to preach those “good sermons” it is useful to understand what it takes to get those positive responses from our listeners.

 

Preaching in the Missional Church – Ervin R. Stutzman

The forces of modernization, trailed by the deconstructive troops of postmodernism, have left Western civilization writhing in the throes of secularization. In response, some evangelicals are “going missional” in an attempt to reach an increasingly pagan culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Proponents seek to move beyond a traditional emphasis on “missions” by establishing “missional churches” that engage all members and align all aspects of life with God’s mission, God’s reign in the world.


The Preaching Pastor Survey – Kenton C. Anderson

Every November the national and regional leadership of the six denominations affiliated with the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS Seminaries) come together to meet with the faculty and discuss some issue of current importance. In the fall of 2007, the subject was preaching. A comprehensive survey of 135 preaching pastors was undertaken. These are some of the implications that were discerned.

 

Preaching in the Zone – Kenton C. Anderson

You know those times it seems we have a perfect connection to the mind and heart of each listener so that everything we say is registering exactly as it should. In times like these we can do no homiletic harm. God’s presence is known and his Spirit is at work. We are in “the preaching zone.” These are the sermons we send for publication. These are the moments we remember when the sermonic cupboard seems bare.

 

Why We Need Dead Pagans in Our Homiletics Classrooms – Dave McClellan

On the contrary, bringing ancient rhetorical theory into the seminary classroom has both hermeneutic and homiletic benefits. Pagan rhetoricians flesh out the world of communication in the biblical milieu. Just as we study Greek and Roman history to
understand the historical context for the New Testament, so we can study Greek and Roman rhetoric to understand the communicative context.

 

Loving Your Library – Kenton C. Anderson

Owning books is a wonderful thing, but it is not without its difficulties. I occasionally see offers of “free books” around our campus, but I have learned that books are never free. Books need to be read, filed, stored, and when you come to move to a new home or office, you will have to transport them. Books are heavy and movers charge by the pound. Still, I can’t help myself. I’m going to accumulate books. The challenge, then, is to learn how to make my library as orderly and useful as possible.

 

Preaching as Dialogue– Kenton C. Anderson

Preaching that ignores the listener will not seem relevant to the very ones the preacher wants to reach. Perhaps the time has come to encourage greater dialogue in the preparation and presentation of our preaching as a means of involving listeners more fully in the process.

 

Only Human Kenton C. Anderson

We all know the agony of listening to a preacher far too impressed with himself and his own life experiences. Yet few of us would care to listen to a sermon devoid of human experience and real life color. For his part, the preacher does not want to get in the way of the message of Scripture. Yet at the same time, the listener finds it desirable if the preacher has a pulse.

 

Theological and Rhetorical Perspectives on Self-Disclosure in Preaching – Jeffrey Arthurs and Andrew Gurevich

We cannot hide literally or figuratively in the pulpit, and we should not try to because God has ordained that his truth be communicated through human agents. His treasure is in earthen vessels. Paul knew this and was glad to share with the Thessalonians not only the gospel but also his life (1 Thess. 2:8).

 

Creative Thinking for the Expository Sermon – Kenton C. Anderson

The particular facet of creative thinking that this paper is dealing with relates to inventing or creating questions to be asked and answered in your sermon that are not explicitly dealt with in the preaching portion. From the unmistakable, well-defined data in the preaching portion comes material that fuels the preacher’s mind to create implied questions. The data, like the few household items at a pre-schooler’s disposal, is sufficient to set the preacher’s mind and, later, the parishioners’ minds on a whole new world of discovery that can play a major role in the logical development and relevance of a sermon.

 

Slow Cooking Sermons – Kenton C. Anderson

Fast food never nourished anyone. Fast food may be better than no food – maybe. Still a homiletical diet of a burger and fries is not what is going to sustain congregations. Listeners notice when sermons are thrown together late on Saturday night. Good preaching requires time, both in quantity and in duration.

 

Mapping the Landscape of Preaching Today – Kenton C. Anderson

It is time we had some new maps for preaching. The old maps were suitable in their day. The places that they mark still sound a little bit familiar, but a preacher could get lost if he tried to follow one of them.

 

Angst About Alliteration – Donald Sunukjian

Woody Hayes, legendary coach at Ohio State (1951-1978), ran an offence which the sportswriters dubbed “three yards and a cloud of dust.” When asked, “Woody, why don’t you ever throw a forward pass,” Hayes replied, “Three things can happen when you throw a forward pass, and two of them are bad.” In that same vein, I would like to suggest: “Four things can happen when you alliterate, and four of them are bad.”

 

Preaching in Stereo – Kenton C. Anderson

Pierre Babin has employed the stereo metaphor to describe the necessary integration of cognitive (left brain) and emotive (right brain) elements in preaching (Babin 31,32). It strikes me that the metaphor could serve to describe other integrative aspects of the homiletic task, such as the relationship between preaching grace and preaching holiness.

 

If Leonardo Could Preach – Kenton C. Anderson

I wonder what it would sound like if Leonardo could preach? The brilliance of da Vinci’s technical achievements are seen in the convergence of form and function that is evident in his work. Not only would his machine fly, but it would look beautiful doing it. There was art in his science as there is in the best of contemporary preaching. I am no Leonardo da Vinci, but I do believe my preaching is enhanced when I bring together the science and the art of preaching.

 

Preaching by Design – Dennis Cahill

The mundane issue of preaching shape has been the ‘hot’ topic in the homiletical world during the last quarter century. … Out of all this discussion has come an emphasis on inductive , narrative, and story preaching. And David Buttrick has contributed his own Homiletic of Moves. Much of the current emphasis on form tends to be an approach toward form that stress inductive movement, narrative logic, imagery, creativity and flexibility.


Relevant Biblical Preaching Without Dumbing Down Keith Willhite

Like pizza, sermons come in two distinct forms: deep dish or thin and crispy. Either the content is so “deep” that we cannot possibly discern what we’re eating or the toppings are so sparse than, an hour later, we wonder why we bothered ordering. Deep dish sermons are filling, even stuffy, and require lots of chewing. Thin and crispy sermons go down effortlessly, but leave us craving more substance. Deep dish sermons are full of stuff – content rules! Thin and crispy sermons appear so appetizing, but they offer very little substance for satisfaction.

 

Squeaky Clean – Kenton C. Anderson

That preaching ought to be ethical is beyond debate. Good ethical practice is foundational to preaching and good preachers know it. Listeners accustomed to media stories of fallen preachers might wonder, but for most of us there is no question about our intent to be ethical in the pulpit. The question is not whether we want to do right, but whether we will know what is right and whether we will we be able to do it.

 

The Homiletical Schoolbus – Kenton C. Anderson

Occasionally my children watch a program on PBS called The Magic School Bus. The show features a group of school children that go on surprising educational adventures to places like the interior of the human body or to the bottom of the sea in their amazing school bus. I’ve often thought that preachers drive a similar school bus. In many ways we act like cosmic Holy Land tour bus operators. We pull the bus up to the front of the church as we begin our sermon and invite everyone to find a place inside. We drive back 2000 years to biblical times and take people on a tour with us. …

 

The Baptist Preacher in a Pluralist Context – Kenton C. Anderson

Say the words ‘Baptist Preacher’ and you will get different responses from different people. For some, the words will raise the names of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Gardner Taylor, and W. A. Criswell, great men who took the Bible seriously and blessed many with its message. For others, however, the name evokes a more negative connotation. Bellicose and opinionated, the stereotypical Baptist hardly fits the pluralism of the times. …

 

Let Him Who has Ears, Listen!Michael J. Quicke

“The skills of the hearers are more important than the skills of the preacher” controversially claimed G.E. Sweazey, Preaching the Good News 1976, 310). He went onto argue how hearers “need their own instruction in homiletics. . .they need to know what the whole idea of preaching is.” …

 

Serving Sermons from a Bowl – Kenton C. Anderson

I believe that preaching is cultural. The message we preach is founded in Scripture and transcends culture, but the preaching of the message, is definitively tied to the expectations, assumptions, and languages of the cultural context. Preaching speaks truth into time – specific times and specific places, and therein lay my problem…

 

The Place of the Pulpit – Kenton C. Anderson

Give me the old oak pulpit, oiled by fist pounding and stained with preacher sweat. Give me “the sacred desk” or give me nothing at all. None of these acrylic, see through podiums for me, thank you very much. Give me the “furniture of authority” or else let me wander free like Whitfield in the country. Maybe that’s even better! Perhaps you should let me loose to walk among the people, just like Jesus, communing and communicating with the people without the barrier of pulpit furnishings. …

 

The Arrogance of Preaching Kenton C. Anderson

Is there anything as arrogant as a preacher? While perhaps not up there with trash talking point guards or raving third world despots, preachers still are perceived as pompous in the mind of the average citizen. Preachers are too sure of themselves in a world where no one takes anything for granted and where no one is certain of anything. “Don’t preach at me,” people say when they want to be particularly cutting. …

 

Preaching in the ER – Kenton C. Anderson

There is no doubt, we are witnessing a major shift in the way people learn. Newspapers like USAToday, services like America Online, and stations like Headline News, all showcase the public’s desire to sift information, piecing together the story line from a multitude of sources and perspectives. Whether this is good for us, may be beside the point. Preachers cannot choose their culture, but must find a way to communicate truth within the culture as powerfully as possible. If this is the way people think today, we are going to have to learn to deal with it. …

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