Commentaries: Necessary But Dangerous

October 29, 2009

Exiled Preacher has some helpful notes on a recent lecture: “Tools for Sermon Preparation.”

Commentaries are generally commended in the lecture, but 9 potential  dangers are also pointed out:

  1. Redundant material
  2. Vain discussion
  3. Weak exegesis
  4. Weak in biblical integration
  5. Failure to point to Christ
  6. Often weak in application
  7. Concessions to unbelieving theology
  8. Dull!
  9. Turn the handle mentality



One comment

  1. On point 6: Commentaries can be very good on application (e.g., Stott’s), but in the nature of the case the application has to be general. It can’t be any more specific than the audience for which the commentary is written. But only the preacher is in a position to make the application sufficiently specific, for the particular individuals in his particular congregation. So the danger, I guess, is that the preacher doesn’t take the application to that extra (and necessary) level of specificity.

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