Text-Driven Blog

Preaching Double Parables

How do you preach a double Parable? Jesus told as many short parables as he did long parables. For every Prodigal Son of Luke 15:11-32 (21 verses), there is a parable like the Unworthy Servant of Luke 17:7-10(4 verses), Trained Scribe of Matt. 13:51-52 (2 vers... Read More »

Preaching the Shorter Parables

Jesus had incredible structure to his sermons … but only sometimes. Think of the Sermon on the Mount. Its introduction (eight beatitudes) is followed with six antitheses: Jesus fights the thesis that keeping a warped standard of righteousness was enough. It ... Read More »

Preaching the Gospel Narratives

The sermon wasn’t going well, and I could feel it. If I could feel it, I think the audience could feel it as well. The reason? I did not have a firm grip on the main idea of the text. My text was Luke 16:19-31, the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Origin... Read More »

Preaching Proverbs

For a preacher, preaching from the Old Testament wisdom of Proverbs is like a little boy walking into LEGOLAND, the entertainment attraction dedicated to the full enjoyment of the classic Lego building bricks. One hardly knows where to begin. Because of its ar... Read More »

Preaching Prophecy

If the prophets are the leftovers of preaching, the Minor prophets are the vegetables—the really, really, last resort in text selection. With the exception of Jonah, rarely is a Minor prophet a go-to text. Why is it that these major chunks of the Old Testame... Read More »

Preaching Wisdom Literature

The structure of the text should be the structure of the sermon. This axiom is easy enough to follow when preaching a New Testament Epistle where you can follow the clear paragraph structure of the text, using rhetorical clues to divide the text such as verbs ... Read More »

Preaching the Psalms

Have you ever sat next to someone in church who has a terrible singing voice and just doesn’t care? They just sing it like they really mean it. I envy this person. Without the slightest bit of self-awareness, they simply rear back and let the song fly. They ... Read More »

Preaching Old Testament Narratives

Isn’t she someone else’s wife? David ignores the question of his servant and sleeps with her anyway. She’s pregnant. David ignores the opportunity to come clean and orders her husband to be killed. The stealth of deception is absolutely shocking. Cold, s... Read More »

Preaching the Law

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to that prophet... Read More »

A Book Review of Recapturing the Voice of God

Recapturing the Voice of God by Steven W. Smith To observe what is counted as preaching in the modern day is one of the strangest journeys imaginable. In this thought-provoking volume, Steven Smith makes a claim in the title that, though stunning, should be ob... Read More »

Why Genre Matters in Preaching

Riding on the City of New Orleans, Illinois Central Monday morning rail Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders, Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail. All along the southbound odyssey The train pulls out at Kankakee Rolls along past houses, farms an... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Conclusion

Final words are often defining words. Remember the thief on the cross? He was apparently guilty of crimes deserving of death, crimes that defined his life and determined his death. Then he said these words (Luke 23:42), “Jesus, remember me when you come into... Read More »

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