Somehow I missed posting these, maybe because the past few months have been way too busy!
Questions and answers with R.C. Sproul
Q. The difference between preaching and teaching?
The difference goes back to the NT, the difference between proclamation and explanation. Teachers cannot help but preach and preachers should also be teaching. Preaching needs to have exhortation. Preachers need to explain the meaning of the text.
Q. How do you prepare an expository sermon?
Preparation begins a long time before the sermon preparation begins. But then there is immediate preparation. Start a week beforehand. Written sermons and outlines sometimes get in the way of communicating with the hearers. Immerse yourself in the text. Commentaries, word studies. Existential approach – look for the drama in the text. Significance of the application of the text as it relates to the hearers. Lose a few vocabulary words.
Q. What advice for young men in the ministry for preaching?
Commit to expository preaching. Preach through whole books of the Bible. Spend as much time in the gospels as possible.
Q. Advice for older preachers?
Same as above. You will never run out of material. Don’t beat the same drum over and over again. Preach the whole counsel of the Word of God. You never have to worry about what to preach next.
Q. Tie in expository preaching with evangelistic preaching?
Calling for response and conversion – do this as the text allows. Do it on a regular basis. This is not the primary purpose of Sunday morning preaching. Sermons should not be tailored to unbelievers.
Q. In sermon preparation and delivery, how to enjoy and not stress out?
Sermon preparation should be a delight because you are in the text. Delivery can be a stress, but that stress is from yourself. Depend on God. It is not uncommon to feel stress before you speak. It often goes away when you start to speak. Look away from ourselves, look to the lord, look to the people whom we are speaking to.
Q. Reading commentaries on difficult passages they often differ. How much attention should I give to them.
Refer to commentaries very infrequently. Exegesis is not preaching. Do not just repeat what you have been learning. A sermon is not a lecture. You may what to mention briefly that there are various viewpoints.
Q. What should be learned about preaching from Martin Luther?
Preaching doctrinal issues from the Scriptures, especially controversial issues of the day. The gospel preached boldly will inevitably lead to conflict. Do not try to correct or improve on the Word of God.
Q. How to get to the next level as a preacher?
Read Stephen Nichols biography of J. Gresham Machen. The basis of Christianity is doctrine. Dig deeply into orthodox Christian doctrine. There is no dichotomy between doctrine and practice.
Q. Reformed theology taking hold among African-American churches?
Very encouraged that this is occurring. Returning to the Bible, biblical teaching, and biblical theology. Theology does not prohibit passion and experience in worship. The truth of God is an emotional thing. The rest of the church could learn from this.
Q. Charismatic/Pentecostal backlash in areas of the country which are not biblical?
The charismatic movement is too dependent on direct leading of the spirit. A tendency to neglect the content of the Scriptures. The Spirit works in the Word and through the Word. The Holy Spirit and his work is foundational to reformed theology. We hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in the Word.