Text-Driven Blog

Where Is the Holy Spirit When We Preach?

The text-driven preaching movement occurring among Southern Baptist churches emphasizes the necessity for preachers to speak the Word of God. This is done by first representing not only the biblical text but also the genre and spirit of the text. However, a pr... Read More »

Ephesians: A Circular Letter from Prison 

Ephesians is a wonderful letter of slight paradoxes. It is a letter, but it reads more like a sermon (such as: long sentences). Paul wrote it to a church—but not exclusively (see below). It is a unique letter—but it has a slight twin (Colossians). Paul... Read More »

The Christ-Connection in Ephesians

Warren Spahn was a Major League baseball pitcher known for his craftsmanship on the pitching mound. In a 21 year career that concluded in 1964, the left-hander won 363 games and won at least 20 games a season 13 times. His pitching coach in Milwaukee, Whitlow ... Read More »

Eureka: Mining Ephesians for Illustrations

My father-in-law loves to watch Gold Rush, the reality series that documents the gold mining efforts of various family-run mining companies. Although I am not a big fan, I have found myself perched on my in-laws’ couch watching people use modern equipment an... Read More »

Important Words in Ephesians

Addressing the topic of important words in Ephesians begs the prior question of what constitutes an important word. By what measure or standard does one decide that a word or phrase is significant and deserves further study? Theologically loaded words such as ... Read More »

Finding the Pericopes of Ephesians

Ephesians seems to be written as a “circular letter” to the churches in the city of Ephesus.[1]Clinton E. Arnold, Ephesians,  ZECNT (Zondervan, 2010), 25–28; Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians. PNTC (Eerdmans, 1999), 83. A... Read More »

Theology of Ephesians

The tallest mountain in the United States is Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), located in Alaska. When the most impressive peak is in plain sight, it may be easy to overlook the fact that the second through sixth tallest mountains in the country are in Alaska to... Read More »

The Themes of Ephesians

“Good homiletics is built on even better hermeneutics.” I do not know who first made this statement or where I first heard it, but I use this axiom as a rallying cry of sorts in my preaching classes. I genuinely believe you cannot rightly preach what you h... Read More »

Applying Ephesians

God will even the score. Stay awake and He will keep you safe. Every sermon listener ought to hear a short pithy statement throughout your sermon that contains two essential elements: what is true about a Bible text, and what God expects them to do. I have bee... Read More »

Preaching the Letter to the Ephesians

The letter that Paul wrote the church in Ephesus is a high-water mark of the New Testament. It’s been called both the “Grand Canyon” and “Crown Jewel” of the New Testament for its masterful presentation of “the mystery of th... Read More »

When God Seems Silent: The Preacher’s Perspective

“Can you hear me now?” is the question that the actor with the horn-rimmed glasses, Paul Marcarelli, made famous after asking the question over and over again on Verizon commercials from 2002 to 2011. Many times, it is easy to feel just like Marcarelli whe... Read More »

Take Your Shot: Preaching in a Liturgical Context

Some of the best marksmen in the world are known for hitting targets at distances over a mile away. Imagine attempting to hit a target you can barely see with your eye! Shooting with that type of precision is no simple task. A precision shooter will account fo... Read More »

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