Monday, September 15, 2008

Preaching On Your Feet

Bryan Lowery over at PreachingToday blog points to a book review that Scot McKnight atimage Jesus Creed blog did of Fred Lybrand's book Preaching on Your Feet.

Lybrand covers it all, but this point might be the most significant: there’s no example that anyone was using notes or reading a sermon or (he argues) preaching an “expository” sermon in the Bible. The only method we see is preaching on one’s feet. And he has a chp [chapter] listing the great preachers whose studied practice was preaching on their feet: Chrysostom, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, etc..

And he says something important: too many preachers today are using their seminary professors’ lectures as models for preaching. The differences in context, purpose, audience, content, etc, are obvious.

He proposes that you fill yourself full of study, perhaps have a rudimentary outline in your head, but get up and preach, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts based on your preparation. 

I would have to read more of Lybrand before was convinced.  You can find McKnight's post here.

The subject reminds me a bit of a statement I found in a little book I am currently reading.  It is Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion, by Ross Fares. I will probably add some posts later from/about, when I have completed it, but Fares gives this account that seems to fit:

Parson William G. Brownlow quoted one exhorter, not burdened with academic learning, who addressed his congregation: "My beloved hearers, I shall in the first place speak to you of things you know; second of what I know and you do not know; third, of things that neither of us know."

Perhaps there is a fine line between reliance on the Holy Spirit and the sin of presumption. 

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