Stott on expository preaching? Part Deux…

13 Dec

Expository Preaching is relevant preaching.

It is preaching that clearly communicates the message the text has for the contemporary audience.

“Our task is to enable God’s revealed truth to flow out of the Scriptures into the lives of men and women today.” (p.138)

“To discover the text’s meaning is of purely academic interest unless we go on to discern its message for today…” (p.221)

“…We preachers are supposed to be in the business of communication. A lecture has been wittily defined as the transfer of information from the lecturer’s notes to the students without it passing through the mind of either; but sermons should not be equally dismal examples of non-communication. We should be praying that God will raise up a new generation of Christian communicators who are determined to bridge the chasm; who struggle to relate God’s unchanging Word to our ever-changing world; who refuse to sacrifice truth to relevance or relevance to truth, but who resolve instead in equal measure to be faithful to to Scripture and pertinent to today.” (p.144)

The question of course is how do we do that?

Take the term relevance. What does it mean to be relevant? It’s not as easy a question as it might seem at first.

Listen to Os Guinness on relevance,

“Relevance is a prerequisite for communication. Without it there is no communication, only a one-sided sending of messages addressed to no one, nowhere. But having said that, it must also be said that relevance is a more complex, troublesome, and seductive matter than its advocates acknowledge. For a start, relevance is a question begging concept when invoked by itself. And when absolutized it becomes lethal to truth. Properly speaking, relevance assumes and requires the answer to such questions as: relevance for what? relevance to whom? If these questions are left unasked, a constant appeal to relevance becomes a way of running roughshod over the truth and corralling opinion coercively. People are thinking or doing something because it is relevant without knowing why. But it is in fact truth that gives relevance to relevance just as relevance becomes irrelevance if it is not related to truth. Without truth, relevance is meaningless and dangerous.” (No God but God, p.169)

One Response to “Stott on expository preaching? Part Deux…”

  1. Mike Perrigoue December 14, 2005 at 2:38 pm #

    And isn’t it interesting that so many churches out there are marketing themselves as “relevant” yet they don’t practice expository preaching?

    It’s a sad thing when preachers feel they must cherry pick scripture and topics so as to make church more relevant.

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