David Fitch: The Myth of Expository Preaching

David Fitch on The Myth of Expository Preaching:

I believe there is a myth surrounding expository preaching among N. American evangelicals. It goes like this: if the preacher follows the text more closely in his preaching, both he/she and the congregation will stay true to the Word of God. No other agendas or human wisdom will slither into the preaching. Implied is, if the preacher but applies the exegetical historical-critical skills (s)he learned in seminary and studies the text in its original language, aided by the Spirit, (s)he can arrive at the meaning of the text all by him/herself. Expository preaching, done right (with good exegesis), sticks to the already existing stable perspicuous meaning in the text. Interpretation therefore comes second and can only follow the text. In this way, expository preaching allows God's Word to drive the message and any interpretation is automatically subordinated to it. This is the mythology I believe is behind expository preaching in the evangelical world.

You may want to read the entire post.

Fitch is on to something. I like what he says about individualism, and I like where he ends up in his chapter on preaching in The Great Giveaway. But I need to wrestle through his authorial intent issue. I'm looking forward to reading Is There a Meaning in This Text? which is on its way to me now.

The reading phase is almost over

At our last residency, they warned us that we had a good 50-100 hours reading ahead of us before we started to write our thesis-project. I thought I would get it done in a couple of months, but it's taken longer. One book leads to another 400+ page one. But it's been fun.

My reading is mostly done now. I plan to read a few more on vacation over the next couple of weeks. Then comes the hard part - writing. I have to say I'm looking forward to it.

Here are some of the books piled on my desk.

No more premises for now

I was going to write one more premise about theocentric preaching - something about the importance of making the story of the Bible our story - but I think I'll leave it for now. I have way too much thinking to do to make many more pronouncements right now.

It's been scary, though, to realize how easy it is to fall into allegorizing and moralizing when we read or preach the Bible.

I hope I can do justice to the topic when I actually begin to sit down and write in a couple of weeks.

I'll be posting more as I write at TheocentricPreaching.com, starting around the end of July. If you're interested you could add it to your RSS reader now.

The danger of relevance

Lesslie Newbigin on what can go wrong when we try to be relevant:
In discussions about the contemporary mission of the Church it is often said that the Church ought to address itself to the real questions which people are asking. That is to misunderstand the mission of Jesus and the mission of the Church. The world's questions are not the questions which lead to life. What really needs to be said is that where the Church is faithful to its Lord, there the powers of the kingdom are present and people begin to ask the question to which the gospel is the answer.