Who’s Talking?

J.I. Packer has a classic definition of preaching as “letting texts talk.” That’s brilliant. Simple and brilliant. The goal of biblical preaching is to let God’s Word speak.

However, this is the classic definition because it addresses the perennial problem associated with preaching. It challenges us at the most important issue related to preaching: who’s talking? Is the particular sermon being delivered God’s word or is it the opinion of a human being, however sincere and/or sanctified?

David Helm in his book Expositional Preaching describes how “…some preachers use the Bible the way a drunk uses a lamp post…more for support than illumination.” (24) What he describes is the temptation of every preacher: using the Bible to support a point you want to make instead of letting the text say what it has to say.

J.I. Packer was write: we should let our texts talk.

Let me hear from you regarding this question: what do you do in your preparation, either on your sermon or in your soul, to ensure that Scripture is speaking in your message instead of yourself?