September 12, 2009

Why I Preach Expositionally, part 6: Responding to Objections

It may come as a surprise to some that the expositional preaching of scripture has met with objection in many quarters of the church. Despite the goal of the method to plainly expose the life-giving word, it has been met with resistance, at times, from both pastors and congregants. So, with this final post on the case for expositional preaching, I aim to respond to some common objections.

First, some have objected to expositional preaching on the grounds that the method is dated. In response, I would say: Absolutely! This objection is faulty because it assumes that anything old is irrelevant. The obvious answer here is that the scriptures themselves are quite dated. The most recent of them are 2000 years old. The fact that expositional preaching is dated and has historical precedent as the best way to preach the word of God is an argument in favor of the method.

Second, some have objected that expositional preaching is dull and boring. This objection is probably not so much evidence of a dull method but dull preachers. If a sermon that is intended to explain the scriptures is boring, then the preacher needs to do more work in preparation before preaching it. The word of God is life-giving, and if the preacher makes it boring, then he ought to work harder not to hinder the power of the word.

Third, and closely related to the second, it has been objected by some preachers that preaching through a whole book is not preferable because the congregation might get bogged down. Once again, it must be seen that the problem is not with the word but with either the preacher or the congregation. If the congregation gets bogged down by the word, then either the preacher is not doing his job or the congregation has an insufficient appreciation for the life-giving word.

In conclusion, my aim through this series of posts has been to make the case for expositional preaching. The argument for expositional preaching is based on scriptural authority and sufficiency, personal growth for the preacher, and the fear of God's judgment to make the word scarce. All objections fail when considered in light of power of the word. The problem is never with scripture; it is always with either the preacher or the hearer and is a manifestation of our common fallenness. Let us, therefore, be faithful to preach the whole counsel of God to the people of God that our faith might be increased and our God might be glorified.

No comments: