I’ve been thinking a lot about preaching lately, not so much about the ‘hows’ of techniques and trendiness, but the more fundamental question of why do it at all? What are its theological ‘foundations’? Is it still effective (and what do we mean by effective anyway)? And so forth.
I hope to blog on the topic this summer when I have a little more space. Currently, I’m researching and sharing quotes along the way.
This one comes from John Stott, one of the most respected preachers (and practical scholars of the New Testament) of the 20th century.
“The essential secret is not mastering certain techniques but being mastered by certain convictions. In other words, theology is more important than methodology. . . . To be sure, there are principles of preaching to be learned, and a practice to be developed, but it is easy to put too much confidence in these. Technique can only make us orators; if we want to be preachers, theology is what we need. If our theology is right, then we have all the basic insights we need into what we ought to be doing, and all the incentives we need to induce us to do it faithfully.”
– John Stott, Between Two Worlds (emphasis added)