CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

On Expository Preaching

Jul 25, 2010

This article is somewhat restrictive. First, it is obviously for believers only. But second, most believers may not even be aware of what expository preaching is. This is because sadly most contemporary churches do not offer regular expository preaching.

I would guess that perhaps 95 per cent of churches (and here I refer to Bible-believing evangelical churches) do not engage in such preaching. Most simply offer sermons on various issues or topics. This is known as topical preaching. In contrast to expository preaching, where the text is central, in topical preaching a particular theme is emphasised.

Now there may be a place for topical preaching. After all, there are plenty of tremendous topics or themes found throughout Scripture, such as the holiness of God, the nature of salvation, or the issue of prayer. But unfortunately most topical preaching in our churches today is centred on us.

Thus we hear countless sermons on ‘how to be a better you’ or ‘how to lose weight for Jesus’ or ‘how to live the successful life’ etc. Not only is this all centred on self, but such sermons tend to have a bare minimum of Scripture while offering plenty of emotive, feel-good stories and pep talks.

Our churches today are therefore filled with people who are biblically illiterate. A good part of the reason – and blame – for this is because our pulpits are not feeding the people. We have far too many topical sermons and way too little actual preaching of the text itself.

One of my favourite Old Testament professors, Walter Kaiser was a real stickler for “keeping the finger on the text”. He knew the value of expository preaching, and the need to be text-orientated, not topic-orientated. I once heard him say this: “I preach a topical sermon once every five years – then repent of it immediately!”

But before I go any further, I better define what I mean by expository preaching. This is simply when we preach the word as it was written: one portion at a time or one book at a time. That is, we recognise that every text has a context, and without that context a text can become a pretext. Scripture was written in whole blocks, and should be preached that way.

We should not just pick texts out of Ephesians for example. We should instead preach the whole book of Ephesians. Of course that will take some time to do properly, so it’s quite possible to have some twenty sermons going over twenty weeks as the Ephesians epistle is properly exposited.

Also, one may take a block of Scripture found within a book of the Bible, such as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25). Whether we take a portion of Scripture or an entire book, the essence of expository preaching is to give the sense of the text as it is revealed in its context.

The aim is to expose the congregation to the totality of God’s word, and not just offer them the word of God in bits and pieces. An individual flower may be a thing of beauty, but seeing it in the context of the entire flower bed is even more impressive and valuable.

Of course any proper expositor of Scripture will seek to apply the text to modern listeners, addressing their needs and concerns. So topics and themes will emerge from expository preaching, as will real personal application. But it always must be text-centred to begin with.

Part of the problem – at least here in Australia – is that the only teaching time in the church for the entire week is found in the 20 or 30 minute sermon each Sunday morning. This is hardly enough time to properly be teaching God’s people God’s word.

Things are quite different in the US. There it is quite common for churches to have two key events every Sunday morning: the actual church service, but also an hour of adult Sunday school. In that second hour often key teaching takes place. So too in the Wednesday evening prayer service.

So most American Christians usually get three large blocks of teaching and preaching in a given week. That certainly helps. Of course the work of the church is not only about the preaching of the word, but surely that has got to be a primary focus in any church.

For those not familiar with what all this is about, let me point to some notable examples. Great expository preachers of the recent past include D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Charles Spurgeon, G. Campbell Morgan, Stephen Olford, John R. W. Stott, James Montgomery Boice, R. Kent Hughes, W.A. Criswell, and John MacArthur.

Many of their great series of expository sermons have been put out in book form. For example, one thinks of the 14-volume set on Romans or the 8-volume set on Ephesians by Lloyd Jones, or the four-volume set on Romans by Boice. There is also the Preaching the Word commentary series edited by R. Kent Hughes. He has authored a number of the books in the series, along with Philip Graham Ryken, Raymond Ortlund and others.

Ray Stedman nicely summarises my concerns here: “The greatest contribution the Church can make today to a troubled and frightened generation is to return to a consistent and relevant preaching of the Word of God! All Christians would agree that what is most needed in the present age is a loosing of the power of God among us, but what is often forgotten is that the proclamation of His word has always been God’s chosen channel of power. ‘He sent his word and healed them,’ the psalmist declares. And it is not so much preaching from the Bible that is needed, as it is preaching the Bible itself – in a word, expository preaching!”

Those wanting to read more on expository preaching in particular and helpful works on preaching in general, can find much of value in volumes such as the following:

Chapell, Bryan, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon. Baker, 1994, 2005.
Goldsworthy, Graeme, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching. Eerdmans, 2000.
Gordon, T. David, Why Johnny Can’t Preach. P&R, 2009.
Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn, Preaching and Preachers. Zondervan, 1972.
MacArthur, John, Rediscovering Expository Preaching. Thomas Nelson, 1992.
Mohler, R. Albert, He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World. Moody, 2008.
Mohler, R. Albert, et. al., Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching. Reformation Trust, 2002, 2008.
Piper, John, The Supremacy of God in Preaching. Baker, 1990, 2004.
Robinson, Haddon, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages. Baker, 1980, 2001.
Stott, John, Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today. Eerdmans, 1994.

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39 Responses to On Expository Preaching

  • Wow, I am really amazed to find this on your website. No joke just yesterday I was reading the quote at the bottom of your blog and it got me thinking about expository preaching. Now here you are writing all about it! Thank you for this insightful explanation about the need for and explanation of expository preaching!
    Rachel Magana

  • Thanks so much,
    I needed another way to do the work of God. Another way to think about it. A new way to think. Its amazing, just when i’m wondering what can I do differently to reach people.
    Expository Preaching.
    Daniel Kempton

  • It has been a long time since I heard such a thing, and it is to the churches shame and great loss. Maybe Bill it is a reflection on today’s expectations of instant gratification the shallowness of bible colleges and congregations full of people who think having their felt needs met is the pinnacle of ministry. Great expository preachers need great background preparation, maybe a working knowledge of Greek and Hebrew and just plain hard work to get to the bottom of the texts along with discipline to stick to the confines of the text.
    Rob Withall

  • I unreservedly concur. We are failing to feed the sheep, and hence, failing to be genuinely pastoral. I am also somewhat disillusioned with the apparent dichotomy between the didactic and the devotional. My heart leapt for joy when I read this CS Lewis quote some years ago:

    “Now the layman or amateur needs to be instructed as well as to be exhorted. In this age his need for knowledge is particularly pressing. Nor would I admit any sharp division between the two kinds of book. For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others.” CS Lewis 1944 essay ‘On the reading of old books’ from God in the Dock. p.205, Eerdmans.

    Lewis’ point here is incisive, and he is correct on all counts I think.

    However, being a teacher by profession, and realising that most of our adult congregation is operating at a Year 9 standard of literacy, I believe that the lecture format of teaching will fail even if we return to expositional teaching. The concept of 19th century theatre where one man stands on a elevated platform and over-exerts himself, while the hoi-polloi sit passively and listen, simply is not a Biblical model.

    Question & answer sessions, interrupted talks with clarifying questions, these are more conducive to the modern learning environment. Maybe this reflects more of the American adult Sunday school that you speak of. A return to expository teaching alone will not suffice, we must ensure that the people are learning & growing closer to the Lord. I think Tozer said it well in the introduction to ‘The Pursuit of God’:

    “Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever…The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God…”

    I hope for true teachers to teach in God Church, for the Hoi-Polloi to become active in God’s service and for real devotion to permeate the lives of the saints.

    Matt Harris

  • Bill,

    I applaud your call to get back to preaching expositionally as a primary means of getting the church back to solid grounding in Scripture. My wife and I will not regularly attend a church that does not engage in expository preaching. But it is getting more difficult to find such as the seeker-sensitive philosophy does not want to favour such an approach. However, a warning must be given not to bore God’s people with such expositions.

    I attend Fraser Coast Baptist Church (Hervey Bay, Q) where Pastor Steve Sauvageot is an outstanding expository preacher. Currently he is preaching through the Book of Ephesians. One of the keys to Steve’s expositions is that he not only expounds the text, but also makes application to the people, which is a strong point that you have made in your advocacy of expository preaching. The senior pastor is a gifted expositor, but his two associates are NOT and that led me to write this article, “It’s a sin to bore God’s people with God’s word” after I heard these other two preach. I’m convinced that all preachers can be taught to be expositors without denying their unique gifts.

    One of the expository texts you recommended, Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching (Baker Books), is the one I most highly recommend and is the basic text I use when training in expository preaching. Chappell writes that “the technical definition of an expository sermon requires that it expound Scripture by deriving from a specific text main points and subpoints that disclose the thought of the author, cover the scope of the passage, and are applied to the lives of the listeners” (p. 129).

    I pray that the pastors who read your website will understand that the critical importance of the need to “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2) will help get evangelicals back on track with foundational biblical theology.

    Spencer Gear

  • Hi Bill,

    Haddon Robinson also wrote another good volume I have on my shelf – Expository Preaching:Principles and Practice with a forward by Alec Motyer.

    I also think Bible Study lends itself to the expository approach.My most memorable study over the years was a study on Isaiah which we did side by side with Motyer’s The Prophecy of Isaiah. Studying this way it took us a little over 5 years to complete the study which we held one morning a week. Given the depth of the riches of Isaiah even 5 years was probably a ‘rushed’ job but I loved every minute of it. It almost seemed like Alec Motyer became a member of the group over time. I think this expository approach has contributed to Isaiah being my favourite OT book.

    Kerry Letheby

  • We live in a “whats in it for me” society so this makes its way into our churches.

    I dont really know why but I suspect most our churches are driven by sweet middle class folk so they get the middle class Jesus. Result; poor theology thus poor application.

    Craig Mckinley

  • Bill, I note your comment about Bible Studies, and can ruefully attest that many of them suffer from topical-itis too.

    But I can recommend two outlets (I hope there are more!) for quality expository Bible Study series:
    PTC Media (my own Pressy Church in Vic) http://www.presbyteriancollege.org/resources.html
    or Matthias Media in Sydney
    http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/

    John Angelico

  • My dad, a few years ago, wrote a letter to the Baptists Witness saying Whitley College needed to teach expository preaching. It seems the then President of the Victorian Baptist Union didn’t fully appreciate or understand his concern – my father says it shows with many of the ministers he meets who have come out of Whitley. (Though this is not just an indictment on Whitley as your comment suggests – its is common across Australia)

    One another side – the best “young” expository preachers I have heard have come out of University Ministry with AFES/Christian Union. Its great that such a great training ground is happening and starting to make a positive change in Melbourne and around Australia.

    Malcolm Davey

  • John – Yes I often use Matthias Media guides when not writing my own studies.

    Another book by a local: Speaking God’s Words, by Peter Adam.

    Malcolm Davey

  • I wouldn’t trust Matthias or AFES, since they are rabidly anticreationist, thus compromisers of the text of the first book of the Bible with the “topical” evolutionary uniformitarians.
    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  • Thank you for the God-inspired message. As a Dallas Seminary-trained pastor, Anglican priest, and Army chaplain, I’ve gone through straight expository preaching through a Biblical book, and I’ve used the lectionary. Most preachers can only do one thing, either preach through a book or pick a topic and look for passages to support their arguments. One thing that I’ve worked hard at, though, is preaching expositorily out of the lectionary.

    Hundreds of years ago, many men of God put together the first lectionary, although there are many out there now. On a 3-year cycle, congregants hear almost every verse of Scripture. I as a priest don’t take the luxury of searching out passages to support my argument, but I have to still exegete and exposite the Scriptures. I never have a hard time seeing a unifying theme jump out of the designated passages, either. But, my homilies aren’t geared to push a topic or theme. I preach the Word, and that theme is my point of application, something Dr. Howard Hendricks made sure he taught us well.

    I offer this as another take, via media, if you will, of preaching.

    Ken Bolin
    US Army Chaplain
    Priest, Anglican Church in North America

  • Another modern day expository preacher is David Pawson. He laments the fact that texts are so often taken completely out of context e.g. Rev 3:20. It’s part of a letter to a church and yet it’s so often used as an evangelistic pretext.

    Chapters were invented by one bishop and another bishop created verse numbers (I think). This has done incredible damage. I would like to purchase a NIV Bible without chapter or verse numbers, but Zondervan doesn’t sell one.

    David Pawson started off doing topical preaching, but when he became a pastor in the military, he soon found that his topical sermons “went down like a lead balloon”. He decided to preach his way through the Bible and his preaching changed forever.

    I would recommend his book “Unlocking the Bible”, his autobiography “Not as bad as the truth” and his new “Come with me through” series, available in Australia from http://www.davidpawson.com.au/

    Matt Vinay

  • I can’t remember the time I last heard a expository sermon, or any sermon for that matter that totally captured my attention.
    I raised my concerns with the pastor about this issue, he agreed, but said things to the effect of having to be self feeding.
    The other issue that hardly seems to get a mention, is the Holy Spirit. I honestly cant remember a sermon about the Holy Spirit in the last few years.
    You mentioned Ray Stedman, I have read quite a lot of his writings/sermons on his website, such a great blessing. Its the gift that keeps on giving.
    Jeffrey Carl

  • We have had the blessing of being at a wonderful, small unpretentious pressy church for the last 2 1/2 years, that coincidentally has been called the same for probably 150 years. We are enjoying not only the expository preaching, but the whole peaceful and unpressured atmosphere it brings after having been at a Pentecostal church for seven years that has changed its name twice in that time. One pastor left because he fell morally and the next pastor alienated his congregation by running the church cooperation style.
    I am still a Pentecostal personally in that I believe the gift of the Spirit is for today and I have often thought that the freedom of the spirit combined with the hard won foundational teaching of the older evangelical churches brought together would make a great combination, but so far I have only been at one church that could call itself both Pentecostal and evangelical in that sense. So, these churches are still around and we are thankful to the Lord we have one right in our little town.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Bill,
    Thanks for the reminder to the church. Also thanks to Jeffrey for highlighting Ray Stedman’s website and I will add his site as another favourite expository teachings website. I find his daily devotion a great blessings, as it is not just a daily devotion but a systematic daily book by book expository study come devotion. I have also learnt a lot from John MacArthur’s teachings but I also would recommend readers to add Ray’s website to their list.
    Barry Koh

  • I go to St Paul’s Anglican Church in Lucas Heights in NSW. We have both types of preaching there – we will do a series of sermons based on a book and it might take a few weeks or even a couple of months depending on how long the book is. When we do engage in topical preaching it is usually centred around the dangers of conforming to the world and what we need to do in order to recognise those dangers as well as always a strong exhortation to examine our lives and our faith so I am of the opinion that if topical preaching is done properly then it can be of benefit to its hearers but the preparer has to make sure that he is not feeding worldly desires or behaviour but rather warning against it.
    Steve Davis

  • Thanks Steve

    It sounds like your church has got the right mix – a good balanced preaching schedule.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Great call back to the importance of expository preaching/teaching. Just a few thoughts, I think that a good balance of both is important but not necessarily one before the other.

    2 Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    The Bible is to be rightly divided as a whole (not that your article suggested otherwise), matching scripture with scripture, the dilemma being that many other scriptures in other books hold the key to proper interpretation of a lone and even ‘in context’ scripture. Without topical teaching and preaching, expository preaching can run the risk of undermining balance and breed false doctrine, it is also desirous of and can force topical preaching in order to avoid such.

    Many of our home group studies take a christian through each verse of books from the Bible and with one who is unlearned of a basic overview of the whole of scripture and its doctrines, some verses even in their immediate context can indeed seem as an absolute when it comes to a subject’s doctrine. It is then that topical study and or teaching/ preaching is forced in order to ensure one doesnt run away with that first impression and entertain thoughts such as ‘water baptism is essential for salvation’, or ‘only those ordained to eternal life are saved’. I would caution anyone from doing expository preaching on the entire book of Romans without also making often reference to other scriptures in order to maintain balance and correct doctrine. I have come to the view that what is known as ‘Calvinism’ today, started through certain persons not having a good overview of scripture, and then interpreting everything else in scripture through books such as the Book of Romans, but just a few mad thoughts to throw into this equation and certainly desirous of more comment and reasoning. Expository preaching is essential and is certainly in decline today amongst the Mcjesus ‘would you like fries with that sermon’ crowd.

    Dorian Ballard

  • Bill, you have shown us we need more calcium (spiritually) in our bible teaching.
    For three years, in an evangelical church, three of us taught the Word of God. We are a practitioner in family medicine, a CPA, and a WW11 veteran from family medicine. We average 6 pages of bible notes, and the studies in MPA are on the website.
    http://www.biblestories.stellaris.com.au
    The themes are: Ten commandments: doctrine of man; favourite psalms; God, the Holy Spirit; Great prayers of the bible; studies in the life of Christ; God’s wonderful book, the bible; Sin.
    Attendance 4-5% of morning congregation. ‘Most hallowed hour ‘ is often heard.
    Harrold Steward

  • Dorian. You do well to call what you have written “a few mad thoughts” One of the foundations of expository preaching is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Before you can preach on a passage you have to exegete it. Apart from knowing your Greek and Hebrew you need to know what the rest of the Bible has to say about the passage you are studying.
    You will do well to read Calvin. Most of the examples Bill gives of expository preachers and most of the books Bill recommended are written by Calvinists.

  • In the interest of truth, in so many cases claiming to be a “bible believing church” is not truth.

    In a denomination that I have been involved in over the years, they claim this. Recently I read a booklet they produce with the title “What ********* Believe”

    They believe the bible to be the infallible word of God and our guide to belief and practice. Then I read nearly thirty things that are not backed up by scripture.

    I believe the truth is that they are a bible believing church as long as it doesn’t interfere with their man made traditions.

    Roger Marks

  • Bill, thanks for this. I would love to listen to some good expository preaching while I peel potatoes in the kitchen! I have a laptop, so can take it with me. Do you know of any online you can recommend?
    Annette Nestor

  • Thanks Annette

    There are a number of websites featuring sermons of various kinds. Expository preachers such as Boice can be found here for example: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=628

    Other sites include: http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Sermons-By-Book/
    http://www.sermonindex.net/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Fantastic! Thanks Bill, there’s a lot of sermons there. Only one problem though……I’m not sure that I’d ever peel that many potatoes. Hang on, I just thought of something – ironing clothes can take on a whole new dimension!

    Annette Nestor

  • Quite right Annette.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I’ve just listened to the first one; ‘A Place to Stand’ by Boice. He mentions doing teaching for Bible Study Fellowship. I would say that BSF is an expository Bible Study.

    As you mention in the first paragraph to this article, ‘most believers may not even be aware of what expository preaching is’ and ‘this is because sadly most contemporary churches do not offer regular expository preaching.’ This is true, so I’ve found BSF is a good way of learning the Bible. There are detailed study notes, homework questions, a group discussion and a lecture all on the same section of the Bible. It now runs over a period of 8 years and you can even repeat the whole cycle…. and if people are concerned about the cost, it’s purely by freewill donation!

    http://www.bsfinternational.org/

    Annette Nestor

  • Thanks again Annette

    Yes BSF is very good indeed.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Great article. I love verse by verse study. It does feed my soul like nothing else and I’ve been concerned for a long time that this is exactly why believers need the most. It is so true that other methods of preaching and teaching seem to center on self and we miss out on so much rich teaching straight from the word of God.
    Dorna Chambers

  • Thanks for your helpful article Bill. I agree wholeheartedly that we need more expository preaching. I’d be interested in yours & others comments: I’ve NEVER heard an expository sermon in a Charismatic church. I serve the Lord as a Bible teacher in an Evangelical church, but over the years have visited Charismatic churches (eg. Hillsong in Sydney & Brisbane). I’ve never heard a preacher in one of those churches teach verse-by-verse through a passage. Instead, the norm is a topical message with a few Bible verses thrown in. Interested in others’ observations.

    David Hunt, Brisbane

  • David,

    I agree that there are few expositors in charismatic ranks. I’ll include Pentecostals also in my comments. One of the finest Pentecostal expositors I’ve heard in Australia was my friend and colleague, the late Aeron Morgan (formerly Toowoomba AoG and principal of Commonwealth Bible College – AoG – when it was at Katoomba NSW). Aeron was a Welshman and an outstanding Pentecostal expositor.

    However he was one of the Lord’s special preachers, in my view. He went to be with the Lord this year. I would be interested in knowing why there is not an expository emphasis in Pentecostal-charismatic circles. I have my theories that need to be tested with evidence. These include:

    (1) Expository preaching is in decline in our theological colleges. If the colleges are not convinced of its benefits, the skill will not be passed on.

    (2) Too often expository preaching is viewed as ‘dry as dust’ preaching that some charismatics may see as contrary to Spirit-inspired preaching. It doesn’t have to be that way. One of the finest texts on expository preaching is Bryan Chapell’s, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, 2nd edn (2005 Baker Academic).

    (3) Some Pentecostal-charismatic preachers I’ve met and heard consider that expository preaching is too legalistic and they prefer Spirit-anointed ad-lib around topics and occasional verses. That’s what a few have told me. I need to add that some of the worst preachers I’ve heard are among those who ad-lib around topics and don’t seem to deal with the meat of the Word.

    (4) For me this is the BIG issue. I have serious questions about whether some of these topical preachers have as high a view of Scripture as they do of the Holy Spirit’s ability to influence ad-lib preachers. Their doctrine of Pneumatology seems to be one of the major reasons for not using expository teaching.

    I’d be interested in hearing what others think on why there is a demise of expository preaching with charismatic-Pentecostals. But that down-turn is just as great with the evangelical Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Brethren, and Churches of Christ churches that I’ve visited in my region of northern Brisbane.

    I, as a convinced evangelical charismatic, am committed to being an expositor of Scripture whenever I’m asked to preach. I’m currently writing a PhD dissertation in NT so have to restrict my preaching activities for a time.

    Spencer Gear

  • Your comments on Expository Preaching are right on target Bill. The discipline of proceeding verse by verse through a book of the Bible each week is refreshing for me. We hear sermons based on scripture we know well and other messages that are sometimes skipped or overlooked. Often times digging into the lesser known scripture and wrestling with how to apply it leads to growth for me.

    I appreciate your quote from Ray Stedman at the end of the article — “the Word is God’s chosen channel of power”. I found the quote online embedded in a larger article that your readers might be interested in. Ray goes into additional depth about his style as an expository speaker here: On Expository Preaching. I hope you find this useful.

    Thank you for writing on this important subject!

    Greg Sims

  • Hi Bill,
    Thanks for another inspiring and provocative article.

    I also agree that many churches today have dropped or forgotten the discipline of expositional verse by verse teaching of Gods Word.

    My personal observation of this resulted in us airing a radio program with a very UN charismatic , fast talking American radio host Dr Chuck Missler from KHouse and his daily half hour radio series 66/40 66 books by 40 authors of the document we glibly call the Bible. By all accounts it
    Should have failed, It’s not the most entertaining or slick radio production… But it has become and continues to be one of Australia’s most listened to radio bible program.

    About 10 years ago we bought Dr Missler to Australia over 10 days and to our surprise over 10,000 people attended his
    live presentations in church auditoriums across the country and they purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of his bible commentaries and briefing packs… Why? Because many said they had learned more about what was in Gods word in just a few weeks of hearing his radio program than years and years of attending church , these Self confessed “Chucky Nuts” as we affectionately call them say they have fallen in Love with the Bible and are becoming true Bereans and scholars of the Word because someone took the time to systematically go through the scriptures and expound what the Bible actually has to say on a great deal of many things.

    Other similar radio bible teachers would include, David Pawson, Dr John MacArthur and RC Sproul .

    Goes to show that many people will support a minisrty or church where they are being fed good solid bible based teaching.

    In fact I recall that Bill Hybell said the reason for the failed seeker friendly church program of Willow Creek was that people simply wanted to learn what the bible said … Not to be entertained … or words to that effect .

    Makes you wonder doesn’t it.

    Ian Worby

  • As a new Christian (Jan this year), I wanted to chime in and say that this is such an important topic. So much so that I haven’t started attending a church due to this very reason – the lack of church expository preachers.

    I started out on my journey with exuberance, which quickly became trepidation, as I realised that it wasn’t going to be easy finding the right church that would help me become more Christ-like. After ferociously reading everything I could get my hands on, I learnt that a watered down version of Scripture was not going to cut it.

    So, rather than look, I decided to get to know God on my own. It hasn’t been easy. It is a difficult path to traverse when new – there is so much info out there. I did, however, hone in on one or two pastors, from the US, who “fed” me. I’ve since learnt they are known as expository preachers. I listen to their sermons and podcasts, and read their books, and my list of influential leaders is growing.

    I would, however, like to find a community, a church. So will search until one is found with such a teacher. God willing :))

    If anyone knows of one in the area of the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast in Qld, I would love to know the name and suburb. I’ll follow this thread, should there be any additional posts.

    I am reading books on how to study the Bible, and thought I’d share this with you:

    “When pastors come to know their Bible, and get imbued with its lore and anointed by the Spirit through whom it speaks, “sermonizing” will give place to the kind of preaching that God bids us to preach, the exposition of His Word, which is not only much easier to do, but correspondingly more fruitful in spiritual results. And, it is the kind of preaching that people want to hear, the converted and the unconverted, the rich and the poor. A wide experience convinces me of this. Here is the minister’s field, his specialty, his throne. He may not be a master in other things, but he must be a master of God’s Word.

    The really great preachers today, the MacLarens, the Torreys, the Campell Morgans, are all Bible expositors. George Whitefield, in Boston, had a congregation of two thousand people at six o’clock in the morning to hear him “exposit the Bible.” The people trod on Jesus to hear the Word of God, and if pastors only knew it, it is the way to get and to hold the people still.”

    – “How to master the English Bible” by James M. Gray (Foreword by John MacArthur) Kindle Edition

    I can relate to what Sharon said about grieving over this irony… of not being able to find such a church. It is beyond sad…

    Sincerely
    Deb

  • Thanks Deb. I have let you on here, but my commenting rules do require a full name. Blessings.

  • Hi, Bill

    Thanks for allowing the post, and noted… cheers.

    Peace
    Deb

  • At the following link you will find churches around the globe pastored by men trained under John MacArthur’s leadership. You can search for graduates by location:
    http://www.tms.edu/AlumniInternational.aspx

    Here are just a couple of organisations that train pastors in expository preaching around the world:
    http://www.cbp.org.au/vision/
    https://tmai.org/

    Also, in response to my enquiries on finding a church with an exposior of the Bible, I’ve been told to try Presbyterian and Baptist churches. Although, as with most things (unfortunately), this is hit and miss.

    Regards

  • Looking for a Bible believing, faith in Jesus salvation, eschatology teaching church in Brisbane. Recommendations would be appreciated.

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