I’m not going to start preaching sermons about current events. I might send out an email or comment on social media. We will likely pray together about it on Sunday. I’ll certainly show how the scripture connects to the world around us, like I always do. But I’m not going to rewrite my sermon on Saturday night to address the thing that just happened earlier that day.
What if we encouraged those in the pew, as we should in the classroom, to adopt a far more active stance? Imagine a church where the expectations for learning were far higher. People are not expected to simply take things in–but figure things out.
What is essential for a great preaching? Some say creativity, others story-telling, others cite the use of powerful metaphors, and still others point to the ability of a preacher to connect a passage to one or two practical applications. While such things are not inherently bad, it is my conviction that more important than any of these is one’s underlying approach to preaching. And, of the various approaches to preaching, I am convinced of the supremacy of expository preaching.
The study of ancient culture can be very enlightening and beneficial for students of the Bible. We can define the cultural hermeneutic as the use of ancient culture to help in our understanding and interpreting of Scripture. While the tool of culture is helpful and valuable, it can be used in a negative and destructive way.
I am currently preaching a series in the book of Ruth, and have had the opportunity to put Block’s commentary through the paces, as a homiletic aid. After doing so, I must admit that I am more than a smidge impressed. In terms of its value to someone who is preparing to teach or preach, this commentary ranks highly.