Blog Posts on Preaching & Teaching

Beware of Elevated Vagueness

John Piper

The term “elevated vagueness” caught my eye.

It was in a tweet by Fred Sanders linking to his article about F. W. Robertson, a 19th century British preacher. Even before I read the article I could smell the rot. Robertson, it has been discovered, was covering his sexual affair in private while covering the truth in the pulpit.

That is not surprising. There is a connection between skilled vagueness…

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Soaked with the Blood of Jesus, Singed with the Fire of Hell

David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell

Gospel preaching is a serious endeavor. And the mantle of preaching isn't to be worn flippantly.

Because God is God, and the Bible is his word, the heralding and exposition of that word is central to the corporate life of his redeemed people. In his message at the inaugural Together for the Gospel Conference, John Piper explains why.

God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake…

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Reading Literature

Tony Reinke

In an article written several decades back, Pastor John explained the value of reading richly descriptive literature to develop a vibrant language of theology. He encourages theology students to sometimes pick up great literature and poets like Wordsworth to catch their descriptive sensibilities. He wrote this in his article "The Poverty of Theological Vocabulary" (1970):

There is an intimate relationship between our power to enjoy a sensuous experience…

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Pastors, What You Preach Is Already Decided

Jonathan Parnell

Charles Spurgeon:

We have a fixed faith to preach, my brethren, and we are sent forth with a definite message from God. We are not left to fabricate the message as we go along. We are not sent forth by our Master with a general commission arranged on this fashion — "As you shall think in your heart and invent in your head, so preach. . . ."

Verily, we…

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How Do I Love Reformed Theology?

John Piper

I am a lover of the Reformed faith — the legacy of the protestant Reformation expressed broadly in the writings of John Calvin and John Owen and Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards, and contemporaries like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and John Frame.

I speak of love for this legacy the way I speak of loving a cherished photo of my wife. I say, “I love that picture.”…

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John Stott to Pastors: We Cannot Hide What We Are

Jonathan Parnell

The late John Stott writes,

The sincerity of a preacher has two aspects: he means what he says when in the pulpit and he practises what he preaches when out of it. In fact, these things belong inevitably together since, as Richard Baxter put it, "he that means as he speaks will surely do as he speaks." . . .

Paul told Timothy and Titus to be models of Christian…

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Entertainment-Oriented Preachers vs Bible-Oriented Preachers

Josh Etter

Pastor John from 2008:

The difference between an entertainment-oriented preacher and a Bible-oriented preacher is the manifest connection of the preacher’s words to the Bible as what authorizes what he says.

The entertainment-oriented preacher seems to be at ease talking about many things that are not drawn out of the Bible. In his message, he seems to enjoy more talking about other things than what the Bible teaches. His words…

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The Authority of Preaching for Readers and Non-Readers

John Piper

The authority of preaching is rooted finally in the absolute authority of God. That root passes through the infallible Word of God, the Bible. This book is the only access we have today to an infallible message from God.

Therefore authority is not intrinsic to the preacher. It is intrinsic only to God and his written word. Only the scriptures are “inspired” infallibly by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Preachers may…

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Spurgeon on the Emergent Church

Josh Etter

There is nothing new under the under the sun. Charles Spurgeon addresses the theological liberalism of his (and our) day:

Mark you, in proportion as the modern theology is preached the vice of this generation increases. To a great degree I attribute the looseness of the age to the laxity of the doctrine preached by its teachers. From the pulpit they have taught the people that sin is a trifle.…

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