Mayhue and MacArthur on Expository Preaching

From My Bookshelf Aug 03, 2010

I’ve been reading through Preaching: How to Preach Biblically by John MacArthur et al. I’m two chapters into it and have twice found an interesting phrase first by Richard L. Mayhue:

In summary, of the four steps in the complete expository experience –preparing the expository, processing and principlizing the biblical text, pulling the expository message together, and preaching the exposition –no phrase cane be omitted without seriously jeopardizing the truthfulness or usefulness of God’s Word mediated through the expositor. (p.15 emphasis added)

And then by John MacArthur,

The only logical response to inerrant Scripture is to preach it expositionally. By expositionally, I mean preaching in such a way that the the meaning of the Bible passage is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God. Expository preaching is the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher.(p. 18 emphasis added)

MacArthur includes the following citation: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 222.

In context, Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes,

I would go even further and say: Do not try to think of quotations. If you do, once more the mechanics have become to obvious and prominent in your method. In other words only use a quotation when it comes to your mind and when it seems to you to be inevitable. Or, if you like, only use a quotation when it seems to say perfectly the thing that you were trying to say. It says it better than you can say it, it says it in what seems to you to be an almost perfect manner. You may think that I am making too much of this matter, but I can assure you that I am not Too many quotations in a sermon become very wearisome to the listener, and at times they can even be ridiculous. I remember having a conversation one day when a man who had been professor of poetry at Oxford and who was also a clergyman. We were talking about this very matter and the way in which it was becoming quite ridiculous. He told me that the previous week he had been listening to a sermon in Westminster Abbey in London. The learned preacher having produced a mass of quotations (showing his profound reading!) actually said at one point in his sermon, ‘As Evelyn Underhill has been reminding us recently, God is love.’

There is no need to comment. Everything has to be stated in the form of a quotation, and so we reach this position in which the truth is being concealed and the preacher makes himself ridiculous and disgusts the people.

A sermon is meant to be a proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher. People do not want to listen to a string of quotations of what other people have thought and said. They have come to listen to you; you are the man of God, you have been called to the ministry, you have been ordained; and they want to hear this great truth as it comes through you, through the whole of your being. (p.222 emphasis added)

According to Google books, this is the only page in the book that hosts this statement.

The ironies here are never-ending.

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