Tag Archives: expository

Is systematic expository preaching all it’s cracked up to be?

In my circles it’s a cliche to say that you’re committed to ‘systematic, expository preaching’ – preaching through whole books or sections of books passage by passage, or perhaps verse by verse.

Here are two articles from respected conservative evangelical Christian writers (both called Iain) who are questioning that practice.

Expository Preaching (pdf) – Iain H Murray

This is not an argument that the whole concept of consecutive preaching through a passage is wrong, simply that it must not be allowed to have an exclusive place in pulpit ministry. Let each preacher find what he is best able to do, and let it be ever remembered that, whatever the method of presenting the truth, it is men filled with faith and the Holy Spirit who are needed most at this hour. More than correct teaching is needed: we need messages that will move congregations and even sway communities.

Some thoughts on pulpit method – Iain D Campbell

I am not trying to advocate a method, simply to raise questions about what appears to me to be the prevailing methodology in contemporary evangelical ministry. I am also wanting to ask whether it is possible that the power which attended Spurgeon’s preaching might just be related to his methodology? Might there be some added benefit for our congregations if they came to church next Sunday wondering in what part of the fields of their Redeemer they might be gleaning?

In my estimation, this is not a question about method, but about style. Both writers are advocating a lively ‘preached’ style, as opposed to what they see as the more ‘lecture’ style of some systematic expository preachers.

What do you think?