Truth is the life blood of piety, without which we cannot maintain its vitality or support its activity. And to teach people truth, or to revive what they already know into freshness and power, is the preacher’s great means of doing good. – John Broadus
Emotions And Doctrinal Preaching
An overemphasis on doctrinal preaching as teaching often stems from and can lead to misconceptions concerning the relationship between doctrine and emotions. In other words, some advocate that doctrinal preaching should not be understood as preaching as much as it is understood to be teaching. A passionate delivery of theological content could be understood as unintelligent or less thought through.
Out of a fear of manipulating their hearers, pastors may avoid emotion in doctrinal preaching. Concerned over this issue Henry Mitchell wrote, “Preachers need not shy away from issues that touch them deeply. How can the hearers be moved if the preacher is not? This is not emotional ‘manipulation,’ as some students have suspected. It is shared meaningful experience— spiritual contagion.”*
Three Benefits Of A Church With Sound Theology
Doctrinal preaching is not, nor should it ever be, simply the collection and distribution of biblical information. What one knows and thinks about God greatly impacts his worldview. Doctrine influences understanding, attitude, choice, and action. If doctrine is anything, it is practical. It is emotive. Doctrine impacts life. Sound theology is important for the people of God. They need it.
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Four Terrible Excuses To Avoid Doctrinal Preaching
Sound doctrine is gravely important for the church. The apostle Paul wrote,
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. . . . For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (2 Tim. 2:15; 4:3-4).
Paul’s admonition to his protégée in ministry remains applicable for the twenty-first century preacher as well. Paul seemed to peer through the corridor of time and see doctrinal decline in the church. Doctrine is important for the church, yet it is often absent from the pulpit.
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Every Sermon Communicates Doctrine (5 Considerations for Doctrinal Preaching)
Calvin Miller once wrote, “All real preaching is doctrine.” He essentially argues that all sermons communicate doctrine, even though dogmatics may not be the desired objective of the preacher. Following Miller’s reasoning, A sermon may then communicate doctrine poorly, incorrectly, or it may communicate that doctrine is unimportant altogether, but all sermons communicate doctrine.
All sermons may communicate thoughts about doctrine, but all sermons are not doctrinal.
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