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This post is part of a full article by Jeramie Rinne entitled Exposition and Sufficiency which can be read in its entirety at Reformation 21 website. Please click this link.

Making God’s Point Your Point

We’ve said that expository preaching flows naturally from a preacher convinced of Scripture’s sufficiency.  But what exactly is expository preaching?  There are many good definitions.  At 9Marks ministries, we typically say that an expositional sermon is one in which the point of the text becomes the point of the sermon, which is in turn applied to the congregation.  It’s a preaching that exposes what the Word says, and then shows how that relates to the hearers.  Visualize the expositor pointing at the text with his right index finger, and then pointing at himself and the congregation with his left index finger.  That’s the essence of exposition.

Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify what expository preaching is not.  Unfortunately the term carries negative and inaccurate connotations for some of us.  Consider these four clarifying denials about expository preaching:

First, expository preaching is not merely a verse-by-verse approach to Scripture.  A pastor can exposit a text verse-by-verse.  But he can also take up a paragraph, a pericope, or a whole chapter.  God’s Word speaks whether we take a microscopic look at one word, or a wide-angle shot of a whole book.  I have one sermon that I intentionally repeat at my church that covers the entire book of Job.  I recycle that sermon because suffering is a constant challenge in our peoples’ lives, and Job calls us to worship God even in our pain and perplexity.  But the point is that it’s one sermon on the main point of the entire book.

Second, expository preaching is not to be equated with the style of any one expositor.  When you think of someone who typifies expository sermons, who comes to mind?  Whoever that model pastor may be, don’t think that to be a faithful expositor you need to mimic his style, mannerisms, or preaching pace.  Give a text to four faithful expositors, and you will likely get four similar, yet unique sermons.  Though they will make similar points about the passage, the tone, emphasis and insights will vary according to the distinct personalities and gifts God has given to each.

Third, expository preaching is not merely a running commentary on the text.  Our definition includes an emphasis on application.  We preachers often struggle with making application.  Our seminaries trained us in exegesis, hermeneutics and theology, and our sermons often reflect this.  But if we never make application, we merely puff up our hearers with knowledge, or possibly cause them to tune out, without ever pushing the point of the text into their hearts, their families, their speech and their wallets.

Fourth, expository preaching is not inherently seeker insensitive.  We sometimes assume that relevant, topical sermon series are good for unbelievers and new Christians, while expository preaching is better for mature Christians.  Again, this betrays our faltering courage in the Bible’s adequacy.  Seekers (i.e. unrepentant sinners) need the Word of God if they are ever going to believe: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).  Furthermore, sinners aren’t stupid; they’re just ignorant.  They can learn what God’s Word says if we’ll take the time to explain it to them clearly.  If teenagers can pound down Harry Potter and Twilight novels, and adults can consume The Wall Street Journal and follow the twists, turns, and theology of The DaVinci Code, then they can certainly digest a cogent expository sermon.

Expository preaching at its core is faithfulness to the Bible’s message and intent.  It arises from twin desires to see sinners sanctified and God glorified, by showing the power for doing both comes from God’s Word alone.  By making the point of the text the point of the sermon and application, we as preachers merely lead people to God on God’s terms and then watch as people encounter him through his Word.

 

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Mark Galli | posted at Christianity Today

It’s really hard to listen to God when there are really interesting things to think about.

When I preach, I often quote the Bible to drive home my point. I think it more persuasive to show that what I’m saying is not merely my opinion but a consistent theme of Scripture. And to avoid the impression that I’m proof-texting or lifting verses out of context, I quote longer passages—anywhere from 2 to 6 verses.

When I did this at one church, a staff member whom I’d asked for feedback between services told me to cut down on the Scripture quotations. “You’ll lose people,” he said.

I understood the reality he was addressing, and so I scratched out the biblical references for the next sermon. But lately I’m beginning to question that move, and wondering, Why have we become so impatient and bored with the Word of God? I ask this not in a scolding tone, but in wonderment, not to point fingers, for I wonder at myself as well.

Another example of this phenomenon: Recently in an adult Sunday school class, I heard a detailed and persuasive lecture on a biblical theology of creation. Rather than reading Genesis 1 and just waxing eloquent from that point on, the teacher patiently read passage after passage to demonstrate how central creation is in the Bible even after Genesis, especially in the covenant God made with his people. After class, the moderator for the class suggested that, for the following week, the teacher make room for questions; he suggested the teacher cut down on the reading of so many Bible verses as this would save time and, it was strongly implied, would better hold people’s interest.

Anyone who’s been in the preaching and teaching business knows these are not isolated examples but represent the larger reality. We teachers and preachers are well aware of how easily listeners get bored. And we recognize that, when it comes to good teaching technique, extensive quoting of anything can become tedious, and that, yes, it is important to make time in one’s presentation for questions. Still, these examples reveal such a feature of current church culture that we might want to question ourselves.

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It has been said to the point of boredom that we live in a narcissistic age, where we are wont to fixate on our needs, our wants, our wishes, and our hopes—at the expense of others and certainly at the expense of God. We do not like it when a teacher uses up the whole class time presenting her material, even if it is material from the Word of God. We want to be able to ask our questions about our concerns, otherwise we feel talked down to, or we feel the class is not relevant to our lives.

It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out. Don’t spend a lot of time in the Bible, we tell our preachers, but be sure to get to personal illustrations, examples from daily life, and most importantly, an application that we can use.

It’s easy to see how this culture has profoundly reshaped the dynamics of preaching and teaching. All the demands have been placed on the shoulders of the preacher, so anxious are we to meet needs and stay relevant. No longer are listeners asked to listen humbly to the proclamation of God’s Word, in all its mystery and glory. To be sure, we want the preacher to begin with the Word—we’re Christians after all—but only as a starting point, and only as long as he moves on to things that really interest us.

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We often hear people say how difficult it is to hear God anymore, and I wonder if one reason is that we’ve forgotten how to listen to the Word of God when it comes to us in the sanctuary or the classroom. We listen like a husband and wife listen when they are in the middle of an argument: they listen only so they can have ammunition to mount a counterattack. That’s not listening. And when we listen to the sermon only to hear what seems immediately and directly relevant, neither is that listening. And yet we’ve raised a whole generation of Christians to listen like this.

Again: I do not claim that I have transcended this cultural impatience with the Bible. I’m as irritated as the next person when it comes to the public reading of Scripture. Doesn’t this person have anything original to say? I think. Isn’t he going to address this issue, or that concern? Get on with it! At least I hope he says something funny soon … .

I try to laugh at myself when I catch myself in such moods: bored with the very revelation of God! We have this extraordinary gift, this miracle book, from the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Mystery of the Universe, the Infinite One whom we (the finite) cannot begin to fathom, the Holy One whom we (blinded by our unholiness) cannot begin to comprehend. The One who can answer our deepest questions but could remain The Question, the One who can restore our broken humanity, but could remain a vague Hypothesis—this One has revealed himself in Law, Prophets, and Gospel—in the words of a collection we now call Holy Scripture.

Whenever the Bible is read, a hush should come over us. We should be inching toward the edge of our seats, leaning forward, turning our best ear toward the speaker, fearful we’ll miss a single word—the deeds and words and character of Almighty and Merciful God are being revealed! In a world of suffering and pain, of doubt and despair, of questions about the meaning and purpose of existence, we are about to hear of God’s glory, forgiveness, mercy and love, of his intention for the world, of his promise to make it all good in the end, of the way to join his people, of the means to abide with him forever! And there we sit, tapping our feet, mentally telling the preacher to get on with it.

But if we take the trouble to listen, really listen, to that Word, we’ll discover something else marvelous: that the One being revealed is as patient with us as we are impatient with his Word, and as enamored with us as we are bored with him. Ah yes, even more enamored.

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Mark Galli is senior managing editor of Christianity Today and author of A Great and Terrible Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Attributes of God  (Baker).

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By Eric Costa

 

Preach to Glorify God

The ultimate goal of Christian preaching—as with all other things—is the glory of the Triune God. When the minister proclaims God’s true and beautiful Word, he honors the Persons, attributes, and works of God. But the glory really radiates when the Spirit uses his Word to change lives. If someone is convicted, saved, comforted, inspired, redeemed by the preached Word, God was at work, showing himself to be good, sovereign, gracious, and altogether glorious.

Preach to Transform

In order to glorify God, preaching aims at complete redemption and renewal. The goal is to make the hearer better able to engage reality (God, self, others, world, culture, etc.) from a Biblical perspective. Every facet of every life is fair game—if a person thinks, feels, speaks or acts at all, then those ways of participating in God’s world ought to be made to serve God’s glory. Sometimes the transformation is dramatic, as when a person is convicted and converted. Sometimes the change is externally imperceptible, as when a person is reassured once again of God’s love. Always it should be so that the person loves God with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength better than he did when he first sat in the pew.

Preach against Unbelief

In order to transform people, preaching aims to increase their faith. The desired progression is from sin to holiness (sanctification), which requires faith. A person will only be changed through truly believing the Word of God. Whether Christian or not, all of us have the same problem: we do not believe the Word of God enough to let it shape our lives in every way. Therefore the preacher must target the unbelief in the hearer, and proclaim the Word as beacon that draws forth true faith from those in whom the Spirit works.

Preach the Gospel

In order to inspire faith, preaching must convey the Gospel. The Good News is that God is for us in Jesus Christ. Helping the hearer understand this goes well beyond a “simple” evangelistic message. The grace of God addresses us at every point in our lives: it establishes and strengthens our faith (and, therefore, obedience). Certainly, preach the Law as well—bad news often precedes the Good News. But the majestic goodness of God, displayed in the Gospel, must characterize our preaching week in and week out. This wins our faith.

Preach Christ from All the Scriptures

The person and work of Jesus Christ is the substance of the Gospel. The beginning, middle, and end of the Christian life must be informed by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus—all the Scriptures are helpful for this. Jesus himself made it very clear that he is the main subject of all the Scriptures. Paul set the tone for our preaching by saying, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Friends, a sermon is not Christian unless it is Christocentric.

Preach with Unction

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” The anointing of the Spirit is necessary for true boldness in preaching. Apart from the Spirit’s empowerment, a preacher might muster some fervor, but he will lack authority, and might not even possess the courage to maintain God’s truth before sinners. The right proclamation of the Word requires holy unction, which comes by the grace of God through prayer.

Preach with Clarity

God himself has condescended tremendously to help us understand his will. Therefore, preachers have no right to dwell in theological obscurity in their pulpits, but are called to preach with clarity. If it is important that the Gospel be understood by all who hear, then preaching should be not only in the common language, but also concise, uncluttered, logical, and memorable. Preachers do well to improve upon these basics of clear communication as they seek to imitate the Fountainhead of all communication, the Word of God incarnate.

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Eric Costa is a Presbyterian minister. Born in Portland , Oregon in 1979 and married to Jerilee in 2002, and have two sons, Ransom and Justus. Currently working with Nathan Lewis of Evergreen in Beaverton to start a new congregation: Ascension Presbyterian Church. He obtained his B.A., Christian Ministries (2001) from George Fox University and Masters in Divinity (2004) from Multnomah Biblical Serminary.  He is also a regular contributor to Reformation Theology website.

 

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Foreword:  This is one of the books in my reading list since May of this year. The other two are Heroes and Heretics, and Why We’re Not Emergent. I have not finished Him We Proclaim till now because I want to make sure that I get the point of every section I am reading, realizing above all what the Lord said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” (John 5:39). I highly recommend this book to every Christian.

EmmausTrekker

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Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures

by Dennis E. Johnson

P&R, 2007, 464 pp

 

Him We ProclaimReviewed by Aaron Menikoff

A few weeks ago I read an essay by Carl Trueman in The Wages of Spin where he argued that many preachers employ biblical theology with disastrous results:

One of the problems I have with a relentless diet of biblical-theological sermons from less talented (i.e., most of us) preachers is their boring mediocrity: contrived contortions of passages which are engaged in to produce the answer ‘Jesus’ every week. It doesn’t matter what the text is; the sermon is always the same.[1]

Ouch! It reminded me how hard preaching can be, especially preaching from the Old Testament. But to help us become better preachers of the whole Bible, Dennis E. Johnson, academic dean and professor of practical theology at Westminster Seminary in California, has just written an excellent book on the subject aptly titled, Him We Proclaim.

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK UNIQUE?

There are a myriad of books on preaching, but Johnson believes that the Bible is finally the best guidebook for preaching the Bible. More specifically, the New Testament apostles teach us how to preach:

This book makes the case for imitating the interpretive and communicative methods employed by the apostles to proclaim Christ to the first-century Greco-Roman world as we minister in the twenty-first century world (3).

In an age where so many communicators are interested in style, dress, and tone, Johnson challenges preachers to consider what the apostles thought of preaching. They regarded it as a supernatural endeavor designed to change men through communication of the written Word of God (Col. 1:24-2:7).

Johnson also points the reader to an example of apostolic preaching, arguing on the basis of internal evidence that the letter to the Hebrews is actually a sermon—the author described it as a “word of exhortation” (13:22). Hebrews is of unusual help to the preacher because, whereas most of the sermons in Acts were preached to a non-Christian audience, Hebrews was written to believers. Not only that, it combines Old Testament interpretation and Christian application: “our one New Testament example of apostolic preaching addressed to an established congregation illustrates the integration of Christ-centered biblical interpretation with hearer-contoured communication and application” (248).

The New Testament authors were preachers whose treatment of the Old Testament is worthy of emulation. To those who object that the apostles were inspired while preachers today are not, Johnson replies,

Precisely because we lack the extraordinary and mysterious operations of the Holy Spirit that produced the New Testament documents, should we not be guided by the hermeneutic method exemplified in their Christological and redemptive-historical interpretations when we approach the Old Testament texts that they did not explicitly address, rather than turning to useful but, ultimately, a sub-apostolic methodology? (178).

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK INTERESTING?

Pastors will find many things in this book thought-provoking. For example, Johnson surveys the current trends in preaching. Pastors tend to preach to convert, preach to edify, or preach to instruct. Johnson suggests a fourth category, a hybrid of sorts, with a not-so-catchy name: “Evangelistic, Edificatory Redemptive Historical Preaching.” He references Tim Keller as the contemporary exemplar of this type of preaching.

Another notable section is Johnson’s survey of the history of biblical interpretation and his discussion of why some pastors and theologians are put off by redemptive historical preaching. While the brevity of this history forces him to gloss over historical nuances (for example, there was more diversity among interpreters in the Middle Ages than Johnson notes) he makes a very provocative point: the Enlightenment led many interpreters to treat the Bible as any other book, and this still affects some conservative theologians today:

Scholars influenced by Enlightenment naturalism are bound to be suspicious of approaches to biblical interpretation that seek to relate every text to Christ and his work, if the latter dares to allege that a Christological fulfillment of an Old Testament passage was in any sense intended by the text’s human author (since the possibility of a divine Author must be left out of the picture) (152).[2]

Those wanting to understand why biblical theology is not accepted by all will be especially interested in the chapter, “Challenges to Apostolic Preaching.”

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK HELPFUL?

To help make better preachers, Johnson gives preachers tools for approaching their sermon texts with a right understanding of redemption history. Worth the price of the book, the chapter entitled “Theological Foundations of Apostolic Preaching” presents five ways in which New Testament authors demonstrate the Old Testament’s fulfillment in Christ:

  • Typos
  • Old Testament quotations applied to Christ – For example, Matthew 2:15 directly applies Hosea 11:1 to Christ—”Out of Egypt I called my son.”
  • Unmistakable allusions to Old Testament events, applied to Christ – For example, references to Jesus’ body as the “temple” (John 2) or Jesus as “manna” (John 6) are unmistakable allusions to Old Testament events.
  • Subtle and debatable allusions to Old Testament events, persons, and institutions – Consider a possible connection between the Mount of Transfiguration and the Lord’s indwelling of the tabernacle in Exodus 40:25 based on the overshadowing cloud in both events. The allusion, as Johnson notes, has to do with the Gospel writers’ decision to use the same word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint account of God’s indwelling of the Tabernacle.
  • General Old Testament patterns fulfilled in Christ and his work – Though there is no direct link between an Old Testament and New Testament text, a connection can still be drawn based upon “a pattern (typos) embedded in redemptive history” (272). For example, Psalm 88 is not quoted or alluded to in the New Testament. However, as a psalm of lament—like Psalm 22—it is reasonable to conclude that it can be interpreted along those same lines, as also alluding to Christ. As Johnson puts it, “we have good reason to believe that the New Testament interpretation of Psalm 22 teaches us to read the whole genre of lament psalms as revelatory of the anguish and abandonment of the ultimately Innocent Sufferer” (273).

It’s far too easy, as Trueman has noticed, for preachers to simply assert that a text points to Christ. The question is, “how?” The answer requires a theological foundation, and that is what Johnson gives.

We must consider the relationship of our particular text to other portions of Scripture . . . Preachers who recognize the divine authorship of Scripture and divine sovereignty over history realize that these relationships cannot be random, accidental, or arbitrary; rather, they must reflect the manifold wisdom of God as they disclose the marvelously diverse and unified plan of God for history (309).

Him We Proclaim ends in the most helpful way possible, with Johnson applying his principles to eleven texts in the Old and New Testament. For any preacher who has ever stared at a text and wondered, “What in the world am I going to do with this?” these chapters are gold. This is not because Johnson offers some magic bullet; no, there is no special trick or formula. It is simply helpful to see how he walks through a passage, accounts for a text’s historical context, accounts for where it falls in the context of the Bible as a whole, and then translates all these factors into a sermon outline.

WHY IS THIS BOOK NECESSARY?

There are other books like Him We Proclaim in print today. Here’s how Johnson’s book compares to two of them:

1) Sidney Greidanus’ Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method is very similar to Johnson’s. Both aim at a recovery of redemptive historical preaching, both look to the New Testament for principles on preaching Christ from the Old, and both offer practical suggestions to the preacher. Nonetheless, pastors and theologians unconvinced about the importance of redemptive-historical preaching will find that Johnson is more of an apologist than Greidanus. Furthermore, Johnson assumes less, as his chapter devoted to an outline of redemptive-history attests. Furthermore, while Greidanus’s history of biblical interpretation is more detailed, most will not mind Johnson’s more cursory treatment. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Johnson does not limit his work to preaching Christ from the Old Testament. Thus he includes an entire chapter on preaching from the New.

2) Graeme Goldsworthy’s Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, like Him We Proclaim, aims to connect biblical theology and preaching, to drive home the point that every sermon must preach Christ crucified, and to give the pastor practical tips on the redemptive-historical context of the different genres of Scripture. However, Johnson is slower to show the reader his conclusions. He works very hard to make his thought process transparent as he works through the different genres of Scripture in the final two chapters. Preachers may be anxious to flip ahead and see, “How does he preach Christ?” But this, of course, would miss the point entirely.

The utility of Him We Proclaim is Johnson’s commitment to help a generation of preachers figure out for themselves how to preach Christ and, Lord willing, avoid the trap that Carl Trueman described where, “[i]t doesn’t matter what the text is; the sermon is always the same.”

 

Footnotes:

1. Carl Trueman, The Wages of Spin: Critical Writings on Historic and Contemporary Evangelicalism (Scotland: Mentor, 2004), 171-172.

2. Generally-conservative scholars like the German Johann Ernesti and the American Moses Stuart both affirmed divine and human authorship and yet allowed the Enlightenment’s rationalistic principles of interpretation to govern their reading of the Bible. Nonetheless, it is no small thing to argue that evangelical scholars today are influenced by “Enlightenment naturalism” and I think Johnson needs more evidence for that connection to be convincing.Aaron Menikoff is the 9Marks lead writer on the topic of preaching and an elder at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.

 

May/June 2007 
 ©9Marks. Website: www.9Marks.org. Email: info@9marks.org. Toll Free: (888) 543-1030.
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Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the Doctrines of Grace in a single instant. Born as all of us are by nature, an ‘Arminian,’ I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the Grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received these truths in my own soul–when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron: I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all a sudden from a babe into a man–that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One weeknight when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me: ‘How did you come to be a Christian?’–I sought the Lord. ‘But how did you come to seek the Lord?’–The truth flashed across my mind in a moment–I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself: ‘How came I to pray?’–I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. I did read them; but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith. It was then the whole doctrine of Grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make it my constant confession. I ascribe my change wholly to God. – by Charles H. Spurgeon

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Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ reply concerning the Altar Call

We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people.”

Early in the 1970s Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the speaker at a ministers’ conference in the USA and at a question session was asked the following question:

Q: During recent years, especially in England, among evangelicals of the Reformed faith, there has been a rising criticism of the invitation system as used by Billy Graham and others. Does Scripture justify the use of such public invitations or not?

A: Well, it is difficult to answer this in a brief compass without being misunderstood. Let me answer it like this: The history of this invitation system is one with which you people ought to be more familiar than anyone else, because it began in America. It began in the 1820s; the real originator of it was Charles G. Finney. It led to a great controversy. Asahel Nettleton, a great Calvinist and successful evangelist, never issued an “altar call” nor asked people to come to the “anxious seat.” These new methods in the 182Os and were condemned for many reasons by all who took the Reformed position.

One reason is that there is no evidence that this was done in New Testament times, because then they trusted to the power of the Spirit. Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost under the power of the Spirit, for instance, had no need to call people forward in decision because, as you remember, the people were so moved and affected by the power of the Word and Spirit that they actually interrupted the preacher, crying out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” That has been the traditional Reformed attitude towards this particular matter. The moment you begin to introduce this other element, you are bringing a psychological element. The invitation should be in the message. We believe the Spirit applies the message, so we trust in the power of the Spirit. I personally agree with what has been said in the question. I have never called people forward at the end for this reason; there is a grave danger of people coming forward before they are ready to come forward. We do believe in the work of the Spirit, that He convicts and converts, and He will do His work. There is a danger in bringing people to a “birth,” as it were, before they are ready for it.

The Puritans in particular were afraid of what they would call “a temporary faith” or “a false profession.” There was a great Puritan, Thomas Shepard, who published a famous series of sermons on The Ten Virgins. The great point of that book was to deal with this problem of a false profession. The foolish virgins thought they were all right. This is a very great danger.

I can sum it up by putting it like this: I feel that this pressure which is put upon people to come forward in decision ultimately is due to a lack of faith in the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. And of course He does. Some may come immediately at the close of the service to see the minister. I think there should always be an indication that the minister will be glad to see anybody who wants to put questions to him or wants further help. But that is a very different thing from putting pressure upon people to come forward. I feel it is wrong to put pressure directly on the will. The order in Scripture seems to be this – the truth is presented to the mind, which moves the heart, and that in turn moves the will.

 

DMlloyd-JonesDr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1889–1 March 1981) was a Welsh Christian minister who was hugely influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. By the age of 26 he also had his MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) and was well up the rungs of the Harley Street ladder, with a brilliant and lucrative career in front of him. However, God had plans for D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to be a physician of souls rather than of bodies. In 1943 he was appointed as the sole pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, a post he held until his retirement in 1968. Lloyd-Jones was well-known for his expository style of preaching. He would take many months – even years – to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London.

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