Preaching Today

Is there a place in your church’s preaching for strong language? . . . In brief, in Scripture such language is designed to elicit from the hearer or reader an emotional reaction — laughter, revulsion, terror, etc. — which corresponds to the spiritual nature of the thing being described . . . Such language is used for its shock value. God does not want us to intellectualize sin . . . In the contemporary world, however, a different idea rules. ‘Nice’ is better than holy. ‘Comfortable’ is better than dedicated and devoted. Churches have become places for ‘support’ and flattery, not truth. To be shocked at church is virtually the unpardonable sin.

– Roger Wagner

Most books on preaching stress the need for preparation, for programs and working to a clearly defined timetable. A random reading of modern contributions confirms the point. If reference is made to unction and dependence on the Spirit in the act of preaching, it tends to be incidental, a secondary feature for consideration. Martyn Lloyd-Jones would criticize such a grave omission. This is the reason many of the books on preaching fail to help preachers. They do not deal with this vital phenomenon.

– Tony Sargent

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