Module #1: THE CASE FOR EXPOSITORY PREACHING
Introduction"Preaching is indispensable to Christianity." With these thought-provoking assertion,John Stott begins his defense of preaching in his classic work Between Two Worlds: The art of preaching in the twentieth century. I was interested to learn that this text was originally published under the title I Believe in Preaching, and if you ever had the privilege of attendingJohn Stott's congregation at Langham Place in London, you would know that to be a veryappropriate title. Because in an age when the churches in England were empty, All SoulsChurch was packed, particularly with baby boomers, who came to hear the Word of God proclaimed with power. But are Stott's words believable? Is preaching indispensable toChristianity or is Stott simply clinging to an outmoded form of communication, an relic from a bygone era?Let's consider some of the challenges to preaching in the 21st centuryI.
The Challenges facing Preaching in the 21st CenturyA.
The anti-authority mood1.
We are living in a different environment from that of our grandparents or perhaps even that of our parents. In the past 25 years there has been asteady erosion of confidence in leadership and organizations. There is notonly a skepticism regarding authority. There is an anti-authority mood.2.
And the preacher has been affected by this changing attitude towardauthority. He used to be looked upon as a man of standing in thecommunity. He was respected and sought out for counsel.3.
Today all that is in transition. The media presents the preacher assomeone who is at best slightly out of touch with reality, at worst anobject of ridicule and derision.4.
In a feeble attempt to step back into the limelight, some preachers havetaken to acting themselves! They slide down water slides fully dressed,warn that they will "be taken home" is money is not raised, and look likeanother huckster, playing "stage tricks with the doctrines of life anddeath."B.
The loss of confidence in the authority of Scripture1.
The preacher's problem is compounded by the fact that much of the