What is Murray's definition of expository preaching? There are many definitions of it, it seems. Some say that if you deviate at all by bringing in other texts or that if you bring in the redemptive-historical method it isn't purely expository.
This is not an argument that the whole concept of consecutive preaching through a passage is wrong, simply that it must not be allowed to have an exclusive place in pulpit ministry. Let each preacher find what he is best able to do, and let it be ever remembered that, whatever the method of presenting the truth, it is men filled with faith and the Holy Spirit who are needed most at this hour. More than correct teaching is needed: we need messages that will move congregations and even sway communities.
2. The argument that the 'expository' method is the best means to cover most of the Bible is too largely connected with the idea that the foremost purpose of preaching is to convey as much as possible of the Bible. But that idea needs to be challenged. Preaching needs to be much more than an agency of instruction. It needs to strike, awaken, and arouse men and women so that they themselves become bright Christians and daily students of Scripture. If the preacher conceives his work primarily in terms of giving instruction, rather than of giving stimulus, the sermon, in most hands, very easily becomes a sort of weekly 'class' - an end in itself. But true preaching needs to ignite an on-going process.
Yes, his definition of "expository" is pretty narrow. But I thought it was an excellent article. Forget that his critique strikes at a term we hold dear. Notice instead his call for preachers to do real preaching, not running commentary.
I like text-based preaching. That's what I call "expository." And I like working our way through a particular Bible book. But if indeed the "expository" model is producing lecturers instead of preachers, whose sermons read like a verse-by-verse commentary, then we do need to revise the model and recover the art of preaching to the soul. Solid teaching does not by itself make a strong sermon.
Oh, I've heard plenty of expository "sermons" that are essentially running commentaries and more akin to being properly termed lectures.
I may be in the minority here, I'm not sure, but while conformity with right doctrine is the foundation of a good sermon, it isn't the sole determining factor in what constitutes good preaching or a good sermon. Truth be told, it is challenging to preach a book in which the author makes the same basic point multiple times and have each of the sermons be something other than copies of each other in their points. (I think that the perceived easiness of keeping things "fresh" is what draws some to a more topical model.) And it takes skill to do it well.
I'd agree with this. That's why I prefer Haddon Robinson's idea of the Big Idea as opposed to Wayne McDill who asks for a one word subject and a one word predicate. To McDill, you can ostensibly say a text is about salvation. For Robinson (and subsequent others like Chappel, Gibson, Richard, Sunjaikin, et.al.) that's too broad. When preaching through a book, you have to do justice to the natural divisions of the texts, the author's own thought block if you will. Failing to do this is to fail to be expository in the best sense.For what it's worth, Scott Gibson says that if you are preaching through a book, and you seem to be stuck with the same exact idea to preach again and again, you are not sufficiently narrowing down the big idea of your passage. That is, each pericope may restate and repeat, but there is always a sufficient nuance of difference to yield a different angle and main idea, if you understand it well enough in its context. Of course within one chapter of one book there may be huge overlap between the ideas of distinct pericopes, but then again, repetition is one of the most effective tools of communication.