Friday, July 22, 2016

Expository Preaching: Anything Less is Tyranny (Derek Thomas)

Derek Thomas is "a reformed pastor and theologian known for his teaching, writing and editorial work. He is currently the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church,and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at RTS."  Dr. Thomas is also one of the visiting teachers at the Master's Seminary D. Min track in expository preaching.  The following article(s) are taken from his July, 2016 D. Min lectures at TMS.

Dr. Thomas' opening address was on why verse-by-verse, expository preaching is the preferred way to shepherd your flock and declare the whole counsel of God.  This approach to preaching  is also referred to as lectio continua.  

The title of Derek's opening address is Expository Preaching: Anything Less is Tyranny.  If you are not expounding the text you are likely talking about yourself; (Be like me, listen to my opinions, be wowed by my charisma, etc).  The root authoritative principle is the Word of God otherwise you are a tyrant lording your own will over the flock; (what right do we have to share our thoughts for 2 hours every single week?).  Our goal is to bring God's people a Word from the Lord (1 Pet. 4:10-11; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).  We do not begin with ourselves or our people, not that those things are unimportant, but the starting place is Divine Revelation (2 Tim. 3:16-4:5).  

What right do we have to stand up, week after week, and deliver a "monological address?"  An address with no questions or interruptions.   Our answer is directly connected to what the Word of God is (an inerrant, infallible, sufficient, authoritative word).  In and of ourselves we possess no right to do this.  In view of this we must be extraordinarily committed to the text.  Thomas says Martyn Lloyd-Jones is exemplary here.  The sheer reverence MLJ has for Scripture is palpable.   On this point Thomas reminded us that MLJ's commentaries on Romans were Friday night lectures; not Sunday morning sermons; (i.e. this is not the model for morning expositions).

Suffice it to say, our view of the Bible will impact our pulpit ministries perhaps more than any other conviction.  If you deny the doctrine of inerrancy or inspiration you will not commit yourself to biblical preaching.  John MacArthur has rightly said, "An inerrant Bible demands expository preaching."