Blog Posts on Preaching & Teaching

Be the Opposite of a Hypocrite

Jonathan Parnell

Knowledge doesn’t terminate on the knower. We don’t learn in order to conceal, just like a lamp isn’t lit to be put under a basket (Matthew 5:15). We learn in order to express — to lead others in seeing and savoring what we have seen and savored. And that means we don’t merely say it, but that we say it effectively.

To encourage this kind of communication, John Piper…

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The Aesthetics of Prophecy

Toby J. Sumpter

Beauty is all the rage. You can’t get three sentences in modern theology without tripping over words like “aesthetics” and “beauty” and “Christianity and the arts.” And in many ways this is a welcome shift. The several-century Christian retreat from the arts seems in many ways on its way to a full reversal. Francis Schaeffer has begotten many godchildren, and they are busy exploring, engaging, and perhaps most hearteningly, creating

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Learning from Lincoln’s Compelling Precision

Jonathan Parnell

On November 19, 1863 — 150 years ago today — a tall, stressed out man from Illinois stood up to deliver 269 words that changed a country. It took him only two minutes.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, gave his Gettysburg Address, one of the most legendary speeches in American history, undoubtedly spoken into the most tumultuous period of a then “new nation conceived in Liberty.”

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Preachers, Find Your Voice

David Mathis

Christian preaching is not parroting.

As desirable as it is to copy a skilled communicator, and as unavoidable as it is to imitate those who have shaped us most, there is good reason for a preacher to find his own voice. Not vanity, but being true to what Christian preaching is.

Before it is heralding a message, preaching means first and foremost stewarding a message. Before we “preach the word”…

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How to Be Interesting and Unhelpful

John Piper

The point of this little exhortation is that, in handling the Scriptures, sanctification and speculation rise and fall in inverse proportion. As speculation increases, sanctification decreases. The more guessing the less blessing.

Few people would give their life for a speculation. Few will gouge out an eye or cut off a hand, because of a guess. Suppositions make weak expositions.

Here’s the sort of thing I have in mind.

Preachers,…

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Entertaining Pulpits and the Legacy of “Tethered Preaching”

David Mathis

Initially, it may be tough to tell the difference. A gifted Bible-expositor and an entertainment-oriented preacher, with a penchant for garnishing his ideas with some Bible, may not demonstrate much disparity at first.

But give it some time. And check the congregation over the long haul. It will make a world of difference.

Tethered to the Bible

John Piper coins a term in his short article “In Honor of

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John Piper’s Gestures

Tony Reinke

John Piper’s preaching gestures are quickly becoming legendary. There’s now a whole website dedicated to animated clips of his best preaching gestures. So this week we asked Pastor John two gesture questions.

In episode 49, we asked him about when he started using them in the pulpit.

It is possible to leap and wave and holler and entertain and say nothing and be useless. And I don’t want to…

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Dude, Watch Your Jargon

Jonathan Parnell

Here we go again.

Have you ever thought that at the beginning of a story you’ve heard several times before? Once the person starts talking you know exactly where they’re going. You’ve heard it before. You get it. Here we go again.

It’s interesting how this sort of thing especially happens in marriage. Husbands and wives do a lot of talking and before long they know each other’s best stuff.…

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What You Teach Really, Really Matters

Jon Bloom

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Do you have a communication gifting? Have others commented on how well you speak or write? Do you find yourself dreaming about using your gifts in ministry? Wonderful! We are praying for more herald-labors in the gospel harvest (Matthew 9:38). Consider it…

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