Archive for March, 2008


The Ascension!

March 31, 2008

Never heard a sermon on the ascension? I had the joy of preaching on Luke 24:50-53 last night, closing out the gospel on this glorious topic. My outline was:

1. Witness the ascending Jesus! (50-51)
* witness Jesus leading
* witness Jesus blessing
* witness Jesus rising

2. Worship the ascended Jesus! (52-53)
*the earthly location of their worship
*the expectant posture of their worship
*the exhuberant core of their worship

You can listen here.


Stott: What The Congregation Should Remember

March 28, 2008

“They [the congregation] will not remember the details. We should not expect them to do so. But they should remember the dominant thought, because all the sermon’s details have been marshalled to help them grasp its message and feel its power.” (John Stott)



Young Lloyd Jones’s Sermon Feedback

March 27, 2008

‘The great defect of that sermon this afternoon was this…that you were overtaxing your people, you were giving them too much…you are only stunning them and not helping them.’

(Comments from a mature Welsh preacher to the sixty years younger Lloyd Jones, upon hearing the Dr preach for the first time)



Why Sermons Are Like Telescopes

March 26, 2008

“I think that a sermon should have like a telescope but one object in the field.” (Charles Simeon)

(Photo by Brapke, Creative Commons License)


Dennis E Johnson on Training Young Preachers

March 25, 2008

What would be some of the basic areas you would cover in training lay preachers who have had no theological training whatsoever?

In training lay preachers I would focus on making sure they have a solid grounding in systematic theology that is based in Scripture and proven by the church over the centuries. This will help keep them on an even keel when winds of doctrine, promising “new” insights, blow across the church. Then I would focus on a basic hermeneutic or method of interpreting Scripture, in light of the way language works, and in light of the context of the Bible in the history of redemption. Finally, I would emphasize, for any and all leaders (whether those who can attend seminary or those who cannot), the importance of godly character as Paul places that “center stage” in his lists of qualifications of elders in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. These attributes of humility, holiness, integrity, etc., must be grounded in a firm grasp of the gospel of God’s grace, given in Christ and received by faith alone.

Find here the whole interview with Dennis E Johnson over at Expositionalistix. Personally, I would highly recommed Johnson’s book “Him We Proclaim” (reviewed here).


A Good Idea for Big Ideas

March 24, 2008

Brian Jones has written a really stimulating article on putting the big idea in a more application-focused form: Teaching Students The Applicational Power of the Big Idea.


The 3am Test

March 24, 2008


“If your spouse or roommate were to roll you out of bed at 3 A.M. and ask, “What is the sermon about this Sunday morning?” if you cannot answer in one crisp sentence, the sermon’s not ready to preach. You need an idea people can grasp. If the sermon’s idea is, “In the Babylonian incarceration of God’s people, they suffered for seventy years to determine what God’s plan was and never could determine it…” and you keep talking, that idea is not going to pass the 3 A.M. test. We need something like “God remains faithful to faithless people,” something that’s crisp.”

(Bryan Chapell, interviewed on