Application and preaching

One of the hardest parts about preaching is application. My preaching prof Haddon Robinson says, “More heresy is preached in application than in Bible exegesis.” I think he’s right.

One of the reasons I picked my thesis topic is that I want to explore how you can preach God’s message without making it all about us, yet still have it affect our lives today. In other words, how do you preach sermons that are theocentric, not anthropocentric, yet still relevant?

David Fitch, author of The Great Giveaway, is way ahead of me. In an excellent chapter on preaching, he argues that preaching should not consist of a whole bunch of application points.

“The applications” of the sermons accumulate like an ever-growing stack of self-help books and tapes we can never hope to get to. After many months of this, because we cannot possibly put into practice all of the applications, preaching becomes nothing more than a scroll we wear on our foreheads that comforts us in the knowledge that we are the ones who are serious about studying Scripture…
Let us move from the first goal of preaching as the production of a set of application points to the goal of unfurling a reality we could not see apart from being engulfed in the story of God from creation to redemption.

Hear hear. Fitch gives some questions that help us respond to Scripture appropriately. I’m hanging them on the wall beside my desk, along with another quote on preaching I found last week. I’ll post them here shortly as well.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada