Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching : A Comprehensive Resource for Today's Communicators

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/1/2005
  • Publisher: Zondervan

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The most complete practical encyclopedia on the practice of preaching based on articles from over a hundred respected communicators of Christian truth, this text includes an audio CD with preaching technique examples from the book.

Table of Contents

How to Use This Bookp. 15
Contributorsp. 17
Acknowledgmentsp. 20
The High Call of Preaching How can I be faithful to what God intends preaching to be and do?
Convictions of Biblical Preachingp. 23
A Definition of Biblical Preachingp. 24
A Weekly Dose of Compressed Dignityp. 29
Overfed, Underchallengedp. 31
Theology of Powerful Preachingp. 33
Preaching That Raises Our Sightsp. 36
Leading and Feedingp. 37
John 3:16 in the Key of Cp. 41
Growing in Your Preachingp. 44
Spiritual Formation through Preachingp. 48
Preaching Life into the Churchp. 53
My Theory of Homileticsp. 58
Staying on the Linep. 59
History of Preachingp. 64
The Spiritual Life of the Preacher How should I attend to my soul so that I am spiritually prepared to preach?
A Cup Running Overp. 71
The Patented Preacherp. 74
I Prayed for My Preachingp. 79
How Does Unction Function?p. 81
Squeaky Cleanp. 85
Required Readingp. 89
Rightly Dividing the Preaching Loadp. 90
Preaching through Personal Painp. 95
A Prophet among Youp. 99
Burning Clean Fuelp. 103
Backdraft Preachingp. 105
Why I Pace Before I Preachp. 108
Preaching to Convulse the Demonsp. 109
Holy Expectationp. 112
Considering Hearers How should my approach change depending on who is listening?
Preaching to Everyone in Particularp. 115
The Power of Simplicityp. 121
View from the Pewp. 124
Preaching to Ordinary Peoplep. 126
Why Serious Preachers Use Humorp. 130
Connect Hearers through Dialoguep. 141
Self-Disclosure That Glorifies Christp. 143
How to Be Heardp. 145
Opening the Closed American Mindp. 149
Turning an Audience into the Churchp. 154
Preaching to Change the Heartp. 159
Preaching Truth, Justice, and the American Wayp. 163
Preaching Morality in an Amoral Agep. 166
Cross-Cultural Preachingp. 171
Connecting with Postmodernsp. 174
Preaching amid Pluralismp. 177
Connecting with Non-Christiansp. 179
How to Translate Male Sermons to Womenp. 181
He Said, She Heardp. 184
Connecting with Menp. 188
Creating a Singles-Friendly Sermonp. 191
Preaching to Preschoolersp. 193
Hispanic-American Preachingp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching
Copyright © 2005 by Christianity Today International
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Robinson, Haddon.
The art and craft of biblical preaching : a comprehensive resource for today’s communicators / Haddon Robinson,
Craig Brian Larson, general editors.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-310-25248-2 (jacketed hardcover)—ISBN 0-310-25249-0 (companion audio CD)
1. Bible—Homiletical use—Encyclopedias. I. Robinson, Haddon W. II. Larson, Craig Brian.
BS534.5.A78 2005
251’.003—dc22 2004015689
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-25248-1
This edition printed on acid-free paper.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright
© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in
any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or
by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews,
without the prior permission of the publisher.
Interior design by Beth Shagene
Printed in the United States of America
05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The High Call of Preaching How Can I Be Faithful to What God Intends Preaching to Be and Do?
Chapter 1
Convictions of Biblical Preaching
Haddon Robinson
To do the tough work of being biblical
preachers, men and women in ministry
must be committed to certain truths.
(1) The Bible is the Word of God. As Augustine
put it, “When the Bible speaks, God
speaks.” This is the conviction that if I can
really understand a passage in its context, then
what I know is what God wants to say. (I don’t
believe that many evangelicals as well as liberals
really believe this.)
(2) The entire Bible is the Word of God. Not
only Romans but Leviticus, not only Ephesians
but Esther. Not merely the “hot” passages but
the “cold” ones.
(3) The Bible is self-authenticating. If people
can be exposed to an understanding of the
Scriptures on a regular basis, then they do not
need arguments about the veracity of Scripture.
Therefore, a listener or reader doesn’t have to
buy into the first two commitments before God
can work in a person’s life through his Word.
(4) This leads to a “Thus saith the Lord”
approach to preaching. I am not referring to a
homiletical method here, but to a desire to open
up the Scriptures so that the authority of the
message rests on the Bible. (This works against
the anti-authoritarian spirit of our society.)
(5) The student of the Bible must try to get
at the intent of the biblical writer. The first
question is, “What did the biblical writer want
to say to the biblical reader? Why?” The
Reader Response theory embraced by many literary
scholars today will not work for the study
of the Bible. Simply put, “The Bible cannot
mean what it has not meant.”
(6) The Bible is a book about God. It is not
a religious book of advice about the “answers”
we need about a happy marriage, sex, work, or
losing weight. Although the Scriptures reflect
on many of those issues, they are above all
about who God is and what God thinks and
wills. I understand reality only if I have an
appreciation for who he is and what he desires
for his creation and from his creation.
(7) We don’t “make the Bible relevant”; we
show its relevance. Truth is as relevant as water
to thirst or food to hunger. Modern advertising
creates needs that don’t really exist to move the
Chapter 2
A Definition of Biblical Preaching
John Stott
Iintend to supply a definition of biblical exposition
and to present a case for it. It seems to
me that these two tasks belong together in that
the case for biblical exposition is to be found in
its definition. Here, then, is the definition: To
expound Scripture is to open up the inspired
text with such faithfulness and sensitivity that
God’s voice is heard and his people obey him.
Now let me draw out the implications of this
definition in such a way as to present a case for
biblical exposition. The definition contains six
implications: two convictions about the biblical
text, two obligations in expounding it, and
two expectations in consequence.
(1) It is an inspired text. To expound Scripture
is to open up the inspired text. Revelation
and inspiration belong together. Revelation
describes the initiative God has taken to unveil
himself and so to disclose himself, since without
this revelation he would remain the
unknown God. Inspiration describes the
process by which he has done so, namely, by
speaking to and through the biblical prophets
and apostles and by breathing his Word out of
his mouth in such a way that it came out of
their mouths as well. Otherwise his thoughts
would have been unattainable to us.
The third word is providence, that is, the loving
provision by which God has arranged for
the words that he has spoken to be so written
down as to form what we call Scripture, and
then to be preserved across the centuries so as
to be accessible to all people in all places and
at all times. Scripture, then, is God’s Word written.
It is his self-disclosure in speech and writing.
Scripture is the product of God’s revelation,
inspiration, and providence.
This first conviction is indispensable to
preachers. If God had not spoken, we would
not dare to speak, because we would have
nothing to say except our own threadbare speculations.
But since God has spoken, we too
must speak, communicating to others what he
has communicated in Scripture. Indeed, we
refuse to be silenced. As Amos put it, “The lion
has roared—who will not fear? The Sovereign
LORD has spoken—who can but prophesy?”
(Amos 3:8), that is, pass on the Word he has
spoken. Similarly, Paul echoing Psalm 116:10,
wrote, “We believe and therefore we speak”
(2 Cor. 4:13). That is, we believe what God has
spoken, and that is why we also speak.
I pity the preacher who enters the pulpit with
no Bible in his hands, or with a Bible that is
more rags and tatters than the Word of the living
God. He cannot expound Scripture because
he has no Scripture to expound. He cannot
speak because he has nothing to say, at least
nothing worth saying. Ah, but to enter the pulpit
with the confidence that God has spoken and
that he’

Excerpted from Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching: A Comprehensive Resource for Today's Communicators by Haddon W. Robinson, Zondervan Publishing Staff
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