Systematic theology: Drew Goodmanson & Timothy Keller on Expository Sermons


Drew Goodmanson stated:

“Expository Sermons: An expository sermon is following a book of the Bible, passage-by-passage to allow the text to determine the point. (eg. Galatians 1:1-4).

Most conservative churches would argue that expository preaching is the only way to preach. Reformed churches stress lectio continua (preaching through whole books of the Bible in course).

Timothy Keller summarizes the sentiment as he writes why conservative churches feel non-expository preaching is theologically inferior;

  1. First, other forms of preaching are considered ‘man-pleasing’ because we are choosing texts we prefer rather than preaching through the ‘whole counsel of God’ as God provides it in the Bible.
  2. Second, other forms of preaching are more open to abuse since your thesis is not being controlled directly by the text.
  3. Thirdly, other forms of preaching do not show as much honor to the text of Scripture. The expositor focuses on the Biblical passage itself in a way that the others do not.””

Timothy Keller also stated:

“Expository preaching should provide the main diet of preaching for a Christian community. . . . [It] is the best method for displaying and conveying your conviction that the whole Bible is true. This approach testifies that you believe every part of the Bible to be God’s Word, not just particular themes and not just the parts you feel comfortable agreeing with.”

Note: I know nothing about these two men except that I agree with them wholeheartedly as it relates to the above. Expository preaching through entire books (or at least major subsections at a time) allows for the whole counsel of God to shine through, and not just the few doctrines that an individual may prefer to hobby-horse…year-end-year-out… decade after decade.

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