Text-Driven Blog

The Idols of Preaching

Reformer John Calvin wrote in his Institutes that “the human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols.”[1]John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 1, trans. Henry Beveridge (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1843), 129. Unfo... Read More »

7 Defining Marks of a Text-Driven Preacher

Dr. Steven Smith states, “Text-Driven preaching is the interpretation and communication of a Biblical text in a sermon that re-presents the substance, structure, and the spirit of the text.”  As a pastor, I have greatly benefited from learning and... Read More »

Commentaries and Resources on James

You would be hard pressed to find a more practical book in the New Testament to preach than James. It is the gospel in shoe leather. There are many valuable resources available on James that every preacher should consider consulting. Most of the list below con... Read More »

Savoring Jesus: The Christ-Connection in the Letter of James

Martin Luther, the Reformer who famously (and unknowingly) ignited the Protestant Reformation by nailing his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, found solace in Paul’s teaching on justification by faith alone in Christ... Read More »

Illustrating James

The book of James is a practical book.  In chapter one James exhorts his readers to stand strong in the face of trials and temptations.  Chapter two exposes the hypocrisy of a faith that lacks corresponding good works. Chapter three is James’ exposition on... Read More »

Explaining James

The book of James is one of the most beloved books of the New Testament because of its street-level practicality. Its applicational nature is further enhanced by its frequent word pictures and everyday illustrations that can seamlessly translate into vivid and... Read More »

Important Words in James

When the Lord spoke to his prophets in the Hebrew Bible, the common refrain was “Thus says the Lord.” The prophet was to repeat what the Lord said to his people, heralding the command of the Lord to a people who rarely listened and obeyed. The Lord also co... Read More »

Context Clues for the Book of James

Great detectives know how to follow clues to find answers, and the same skill is required for any student of the scriptures. Understanding context clues helps us get a better grasp of the meaning of the letter and the original intent of the author. Without con... Read More »

Finding Pericopes in James

The structure of the letter of James has been described by Martin Dibelius as “totally ad hoc and superficial.”[1]As quoted by William R. Baker, “James,” in The Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book–by–Book Survey (ed., Ke... Read More »

Spitting Fire: How Genre Influences Preaching James

I raised my son Joseph on a steady diet of Bob Dylan. I wasn’t too surprised, therefore, when Joseph became a fan of the young indie-rock and folk songwriter, Connor Oberst. Joseph noticed similarities between the younger artist’s writing style and the fam... Read More »

Themes of James

The topic of “Themes of James” is related to the issue of the letter’s structure, which has been a matter of persistent scholarly discussion and debate. Does James have an intentional structure and, if so, what is it and what does this structure reveal a... Read More »

Preaching God’s Glory

Of course, any discussion in 2019 that discusses preaching God’s glory is essentially required to mention John Piper. Piper argues in The Supremacy of God in Preaching that “God is the goal of preaching.”[1]John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching, ... Read More »

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