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Expository Preaching: A Comment on the Comments Before the Next Post

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I am going to write a second essential part to my post on expository preaching (EP), but can’t get the time to do it until next week. I appreciate the various comments offered to the posts. I am always amazed at how this topic seems to ring a bell for so many people I speak to across N. America. Many argue, including Paul Martin, that what I offer in this post and the book is simply a caricature of expository preaching. I admit I am making a caricature of expository preaching. I simply know no other way of talking about it. I could use a book like John MacArthur’s to prove this is what expository preaching is (See all of Pastor Rod’s posts here, here and here on this score). But that wouldn’t prove anything. I could also illustrate it by referring to various class syllabi on preaching taught in evangelical seminaries. Still, people will say I have handpicked and chosen the examples to serve my agenda. So the fact is, what I am left with is, that this caricature will either resonate with those who see the same thing in expository preaching as I do, or it won’t.
As or Paul Martin’s comment in the comments to the previous post on EP, I think it is fair to ask if my caricature of expository preaching is an accurate one. I think it’s a cheap shot however to just say I have mischaracterized and not offered a comment on where I have been inaccurate. For example, does expository not proceed verse-by-verse, often sentence-by-sentence? Has it become a form of preaching which discourages communal discernment by emphasizing the consumption of the text as individuals over conversational hermeneutic? These are worthy discussion for furthering the Kingdom in our time. Thanks for your engagement Gordon on this score. And Darryl, I think you’re right on with “the range” idea, and Vanhoozer is definitely a step forward for evangelicals seeking to overcome these problems. To the rest, thanks for all the other good comments … Great stuff … Hopefully to further the kind of preaching we need in the church … that changes and transforms lives for Christian living and Christ’s Mission. …
Having said all that, I’d like to put out two caveats in the mean time before my next post on expository preaching. 1.) I believe expository preaching still makes sense for a lot of people, particularly those, who as Jason asserts, are steeped and comfortable within a modern point of view. I’m not trying to call people names here or categorize and undercut anyone who has a legitimate argument from a point of view different than mine. But the fact is, expository preaching makes sense to a lot of people born out of this world and I’m fine with it. I contend it will not make sense in the new fragmented worlds of post modernity. Its mythology cannot carry the weight in these new worlds. 2.) Expository teaching, still makes sense even for us trying to live faithfully in the new world of postmodernity. It just can’t substitute for preaching. It will take the form of teaching for those who seek more answers, details and understandings of the Bible as become deeper worshipers of God. This kind of education classes and seminars, I believe, still has a place in the emerging church. It just cannot service the role of preaching in worship. This I will explain in my next post.
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Wednesday I head for my beloved Canada again. I’ll be up in Edmonton leading some seminars and speaking at a gathering at the General Assembly of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I also will be at a gathering sponsored by the folks at Emergent Canada Thursday Nite at this location. If you’re in the area, come on out. It will be a time to chat and engage on all these issues of how to do ministry, church plant and basically engage the culture many of us find ourselves in.

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