NOTE: This post is slightly revised from David L. Allen, 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family, in Preaching the Word, R. Kent Hughes, ed. (Wheaton: IL, 2013), 275-77. If you are in a leadership position in someone’s church, and especially if you are a pastor, let me offer a salient word of warning: Don’t become …Continue Reading
I’ve learned a new word this year: “selfie.”
For those of you who may still be in the cultural dark on this one, a “selfie” is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone held at arm’s length, and then shared on social networking sites. Time magazine considered “selfie” one of the top 10 buzzwords for 2012. By 2013, the word was listed as “word of the year” and had become commonplace enough for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Apparently, selfies make up 30% of the photos taken by people ages 18-24. Amazing.
Yesterday my book Preaching Tools: an Annotated Survey of Commentaries and Preaching Resources for Every Book of the Bible was released @Baptist21 at the SBC in Baltimore. Here is an edited portion of the introduction.
I have always loved books. When I was called to preach at age 16, a retired minister gave me 400 volumes from his library. Since then, I have been something of a collector of theological books, including hundreds of commentaries. These have served as treasured resources for my own personal Bible study, preaching, and teaching over the past 40 years.
Pragmatic analysis of texts asks the questions “What is the author’s purpose of a text?” and “What does an author desire to accomplish with his text.” The text-driven preacher is always attempting to accomplish something with every sermon. All verbal or written communication has at least one of three purposes:
Affect the ideas of people
Affect the emotions of people
Affect the behavior of people
Preaching should incorporate all three of these purposes. We should be attempting to affect the mind with the truth of Scripture (doctrine). We should be attempting to affect the emotions of people because emotions are often (some would say always) the gateway to the mind. Finally, we should be attempting to affect the behavior of people by moving their will to obey the Word of God.
The text-driven preacher must recognize that there are four basic types of meaning conveyed in every text and context: referential, situational, structural and semantic. Referential meaning is that which is being talked about; the subject matter of a text. Situational meaning is information pertaining to the participants in a communication act; matters of environment, social …Continue Reading
The painstaking work of exegesis is the foundation for text-driven preaching. Exegesis precedes theology, and theology is derived from careful exegesis. To preach well, it is vital to understand certain basics about the nature of language and meaning.