Freed to live through the death of another.

The Primacy of Preaching

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to spend some time with some friends listening to a series of lectures by Don Carson on the Primacy of Expository Preaching. There was much to challenge me–and the others too, I trust.

Before teaching on the primacy of expository preaching, DAC taught for a while on the importance that the Bible (especially the New Testament) places on preaching. Sometimes I think that people think of preaching as something that we can take or leave. We treat it like it’s a product of modernity and may well have seen it’s last days of usefulness.

The New Testament has another view, however. DAC roots the priority of the spoken word in the nature of God–the fact that he is a God who speaks, and that is his nature. But then he listed a whole list of texts worth looking up and meditating on (in their respective contexts) which clearly show the New Testament’s emphasis on preaching.

Since I wanted to do the work of looking the texts up anyway, I thought that I may as well make the list available to you as well. You can view all the texts by simply clicking here. Here is a great reminder that the priority we give to preaching is not cultural but biblical. It is good to be reminded of even the basics from time-to-time.

It’s easy to see why reading and meditating on such a list would be important for a preacher or a pastor like myself. My question, though, is this: What does the average church member stand to gain from thinking about the biblical priority of preaching? How would it / could it affect you and your mindset as you go to church or serve in your church?

1 Comment

  1. Brother Jason

    Julian,
    Thank you for posting this. I enjoy learning from Carson very much. I would like to give you my answers to the questions which you asked at the bottom of your post. I understand your point, as you are ministering in a local church and preaching every Sunday- I presume. You have a specific office of pastor teacher and your calling is to meditate on the Word of God and to feed your sheep. I myself do not hold the office of minister or pastor of a local church.
    In response to your first question: I just closed my Bible and finished reading today’s scriptures for my Bible reading plan. In my reading I was in Acts chapter 6. As you know, this is the chapter where we are introduced to Stephen. He was a man “full of wisdom and the Spirit.” He defended the faith and was able to do mighty things for the glory of God! He was not called to the study of the Word (as where the Apostles) but I get the idea that he was well prepared to preach. The state of the Church today is a sad one I believe, (you may or may not agree with me on this point). Every Christian man ought to be prepared to preach the Word of God. Not to stand in opposition to his pastor, but on the contrary to be ready in season and out. Not many Christian men are prepared to preach and the sad thing about this is that every man who is married and a father is called to be one who washes his wife with the Word. Basically he is to be the pastor, teacher, preacher in his home. The Puritans had this down, not many do these days. Another way the average church member can benefit from this is in evangelism. Open air preaching is one way of calling the ungodly to repentance. This is not only the priority of the pastor. Every church should be devoted to equipping their men to be actively involved in their specific callings of preaching. When the pastor is out or sick- the church should have elders who can preach and fill in. Every man should benefit from what you spoke of in your post.
    In response to your second question: It should affect the way we sit under our pastors. I always say to my wife and kids as we sit and listen to our pastor on Sunday mornings- listen carefully to the pastor because God is speaking throug him today. We should benefit from the knowledge that our pastor (assuming he is faithful in his exegesis and study) is faithful to God and the Word.
    This is my two cents and I appreciate your thoughts! I am always open to correction and learning if you have any thoughts or comments.

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