Theological Clarity and expository preaching
One of my great concerns in preaching is to present the truths of Scripture in a clear and accurate manner. I cannot say that I always succeed. But theologically "fuzzy" sermons often do more harm than good. Here are some thoughts on theological clarity in preaching.
1) Preach expositonally. Topical preaching does have its place. I usually preach one or two topical sermons a year (and then immediately repent!) However, there is a great danger of imposing our own presuppositions on to the texts of Scripture. Of course, I am referring to topical preaching that actually uses Scripture in a responsible manner! Exposition forces the preacher to take into account the context of the passage and its place in redemptive revelation.
2) Don't shy away from theological language. God's people need to hear and learn words like justification, substitution, propitiation, and sanctification. There is a danger to avoiding the "language of Zion" in preaching. The pastor becomes a "communicator", or "facilitator", rather than a preacher of God's Word. If we are not careful our preaching can become so caught up in modern vernacular that doctrine becomes weak and tepid. We must take great care to explain and apply these words and the great doctrines they describe in such a way that our people grasp the glorious truths that have been entrusted to the Church through Scripture.
3) Work hard at application- I once read a paper by Haddon Robinson on preaching which stated that more heresy is preached during the application of a sermon than at any other time. Apply the meaning of the text. Don't say more than Scripture says, or less! Application is necessary. But be careful.
To be continued . . .