If this bible hasn’t been opened, I haven’t exposed my heart to God for myself that day, however much I’ve opened the bible for and before others.
How do preachers choose the most suitable passage to preach on? Here are my four criteria.
We are pastors, and when we have a hard message, and we know the effect it will have, our hearts shift.
I hear preachers talking about their sermons as if they’re concept cars, pretty and accurate, gorgeous – but never taken for a real drive, in the rush hour, to do the shopping, in the rain. With the kids acting up in the back.
The Gospel Transformation Bible is an outstanding study Bible at a remarkable price. Here’s why you should buy one today.
Shead’s work on Jeremiah is more illuminating at the theological level than anyone else, but in addition he has also paid such attention to the details of the text that he actually cracked the structure and themes as well.
A valuable treasure trove on the Reformed view of Scripture, from Luther to today
This is an important area and contains some really important essays – so why isn’t it a ‘must read’?
John Piper has done what, probably, only John Piper can do, which is to write on the experience of reading scripture as the Word of God.
D.A. Carson has edited a series of 35 essays, with a stellar list of contributors. Should you read it?
Let me ask you the obvious question: have you ever actually read Jeremiah? I don’t mean, have you read the famous bits, and I don’t mean have you read it sequentially in your quiet times over a series of weeks. No, I mean, have you read it, all the way through, in a sitting.
So, by way of going back to basics, here’s how I approached a whole book – by some estimates, the longest book in the Bible.
If our bible reading is getting stale, the problem is never with the bible: the always fresh, living, Word of Life. No, the problem is with our sleepy eyes and sluggish heart. Here are nine lessons I’ve learned as I have tried to avoid the dangers:
One weakness in much preaching today is that it is quite individually applied, and in a way that can be transplanted from one church to another without too much difficulty. It is not focussed enough on a particular congregation, and therefore lacks the force to move that church to better obedience.
In Paul’s mind the potential elder must show a double gifting from Romans 12: an ability to teach must be partnered to an ability to lead.
Churches, like any human organisation, cannot operate long-term as shapeless, improvised groupings. And even though an occasional New Testament scholar will suggest that the first few decades of the church had an exciting, free-form style, which only much later hardened into a hierarchy, when we turn to the New Testament, we can see that the experience of the very first Christians was much more complex.
Every so often I go away on a conference to sharpen my preaching skills – in fact, I’m on one at the moment. Something like this has popped up in my diary every year since – well, since a long time ago, and it is one of the top two things that help me improve.
This week has given me the preacher’s headache: a really, really difficult passage. One of those ones where the commentaries delight in saying, ‘This is one of the most problematic texts in the canon’. One where you start to wonder if you will have anything useful to say come Sunday, or if anyone will notice
‘I just teach the Bible.’, he said, glaring at me. In a tone that was slightly defiant, slightly challenging, and – if I’m honest, slightly intimidating. Slightly arrogant, too. I still bristle, years later, as I remember the direct gaze, implying that he spent all his days either with his nose in books, or preaching
I’ve had it with the Bible being quoted at me. Or, to be more accurate, I’ve had it when I have the Bible misquoted at me. It’s not just tactless, it’s spiritually damaging, because it makes God seem to promise something which he doesn’t – and then we get angry with him for not delivering
I was still quite a new Christian at university, when I was put onto the importance of reading my Bible consistently and comprehensively. Back then there was only one tool to help me do that, now there are dozens, but I think the original is simplest, and best. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Scottish minister