Tag Archive: exposition

Preaching law & grace

It was truly an honour and privilege to sit at the feet of Bryan Chapell these past 2 days at the PT Expository Preaching conference. I was expecting more discussion or focus on differences and challenges regarding handling passages dealing with law and/or grace, and how to balance our preaching not to be legalistic nor hypergraced.

Yet in the end, Bryan shared mostly from the perspective of the importance, value and place of Application in preaching, and also connecting, integrating his Christ-centered approach with the gospel of grace. It was indeed refreshing, aptly timely in my own life and ministry, and at the same time insightful, reflective and challenging.

I managed to catch a short chat with him towards the end of the conference. At the risk of coming across like a fanboy, I managed to get advice, suggestions from him regarding D.Min and Ph.D programs which support distance learning or intensive classes for international students, particularly from a Reformed perspective, and geared more towards pastoral or practical theology. Though he used to teach at Covenant, he actually recommended Knox, which currently he is on faculty amongst others. I also got the privilege of getting him to sign my Christ-centered Preaching book which we used during SBC homiletics days.

Dr. Kent Hughes kicked off the Spurgeon Fellowship 2008-9 @ Western Seminary today on “A Prolegomenon to Biblical Exposition”. Here’s a good summary of his attempts to define Biblical Exposition by Ps Cal Habig. Check out other entries for summaries on his entire session.

The preacher has done his work when… (things to work out, understand, interpret, etc)

  • Theme of book
  • Text in context
  • Text’s application in historical setting, whole of Scripture
  • Revelation of Jesus Christ, inter-canonical connections
  • Trip “from Jerusalem to Singapore” (your city’s name), present relevance
  • Theme of text, “Big Idea”
  • Outline using literary structure of text
  • Stories, illustrations that really illuminate
  • Language that communicates in today’s culture
  • Submit self to text, desire truth active in own life
  • Full dependence upon Holy Spirit

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See also entries on “Exposition

Mark Dever pastors a church in Washington, Capitol Hill Baptist Church. In his book, “9 Marks of a Healthy Church,” he lists the following as distinguishing a healthy church:

  • Expositional Preaching
  • Biblical Theology
  • Biblical Understanding of the Good News
  • Biblical Understanding of Conversion
  • Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
  • Biblical Understanding of Membership
  • Biblical Church Discipline
  • Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
  • Biblical Understanding of Leadership

Visit his website for a good summary.

Mark Dever and Paul Alexander wrote the book “The Deliberate Church” (Building your ministry on the Gospel) in 2005. It is divided into four sections:

  • Section 1: Gathering the church
  • Section 2: When the church gathers
  • Section 3: Gathering elders
  • Section 4: When the elders gather

I like Dever’s comments in the first chapter “The 4 P’s”,

When I was interviewing with Capitol Hill Baptist Church before they called me to be their pastor, someone asked me if I had a program or plan to implement for growth. Perhaps to this person’s surprise (and perhaps to yours too!), I responded that I didn’t really have any great plans or programs to implement. I was just armed with four P’s – I would preach, pray, develop personal discipling relationships, and be patient.

Michael McKinley posted this on the 9Marks blog recently, “The Four Keys to a Fruitful Pastorate,” that according to Mark Dever, the keys to an effective pastorate (normally) is “Preach and Pray, Love and Stay”.

Read reviews of the book below.
A Discerning Reader’s Review (Tim Challies)
Book Review (Adrian Warnock)

Book Review (Bryce Hales)


A High View of Scripture
As already indicated, it is difficult to assign D. A. Carson a distinct place in the field of evangelical theology. He himself has great admiration and respect for the fathers of the evangelical movement in the United States, Kenneth Kantzer and Carl Henry. Indeed, he had the privilege of interviewing these two men for the video series Know Your Roots in 1991. His own scholarly career has been characterized by a significant degree of independence from other scholars’ views, a bedrock commitment to the authority of Scripture, and use of all the resources available to the modern scholar to interpret it. Carson considers a high view of the Scripture’s integrity a nonnegotiable for his own work.

At the same time, Carson is not a fundamentalist in the sense of interpreting Scripture fideistically and literalistically. He uses intelligent, detailed biblical study as the basis for theological construction and application. This general procedure was already visible in his dissertation on God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. It has been refined over the years and was further elaborated upon in his lecture on biblical theology at the 1993 meeting of the Institute for Biblical Research.

While Carson is committed to biblical theology, he does not therefore eschew systematic theology. Moreover, he is highly concerned about the contextualization of the Christian faith in the pluralistic Western world of today as well as in cross-cultural contexts.

Commitment and Ministry to the Church
For all his erudition, D. A. Carson insists that scholarship and personal faith must not be kept separate. Rather, a deep personal evangelical faith should undergird a person’s effort to search the Scriptures as diligently and penetratingly as possible. Especially commendable is Carson’s strong commitment to serve the needs of the evangelical church today. Indeed, Carson is a symbol for many that competent biblical scholarship and evangelical orthodoxy can go together. Pastors and other committed Christians can turn to his commentaries and biblical studies for help when interpreting difficult passages or confronting controversial issues.

Focus on the Gospel
What is not always understood but is nonetheless crucial for a true appraisal is that Carson, for all his scholarly writings, is first of all a minister of the gospel, not an academician. He is a gospel-centered man, not a theoretician. It appears that academia has not mastered him—he has mastered academia. Why then is Carson so deeply involved in scholarship? Doubtless he recognizes his God-given gifts and desires to be faithful to his calling. Also, Carson believes that people are built up by faithful exposition of the Scriptures and the defense of gospel. Well aware that too often liberals have held sway in the defining moments of discussion, he recognizes that the task of the evangelical is not exhausted by the assertion of truth but that it is also imperative to refute error.

Perhaps one of Carson’s greatest strengths is his ability to appreciate the merits of opposing views and to incorporate the best of both into a balanced mediating position. For example, on the issue of charismata, Carson is not a cessationist, arguing that 1 Corinthians 13 appears to preclude such a position. On the issue of divine sovereignty and human responsibility, Carson holds to “compatibilism”; on the issue of Christian assurance, Carson seeks to balance carefully the believer’s security with the biblical injunctions for perseverance in the Christian faith.

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Short biography

Don (D. A.) Carson (b. 1946) – Reformed evangelical at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His theology is similar to that of Wayne Grudem except on charismatic issues, where his view may be described as “open but cautious.” Carson’s tendency is to strive for balance and amicability in disputes but is uncompromising on the essentials of the faith. He is a complementarian but supports gender-neutral Bible translations. Carson also helped produce the NLT. He has written books on free will and predestination from a generally compatibilist and Calvinist perspective.

Calvary Baptist Church – Ottawa
Faith Baptist Church – Drummondville
Montclair Church – Hull
Richmond Baptist Church – Toronto

Biography links
Biography of D. A. Carson (Kostenberger)
D. A. Carson (Wikipedia)
D. A. Carson (Theopedia)
D. A. Carson Biography (Sola por Gracia)
Donald A. Carson, PhD (TEDS Faculty)

http://resources.christianity.com/default/cm.aspx http://www.euroleadershipresources.org/speaker.php?ID=108&Tab=Topics

Online writings
Reflections on Salvation and Justification in the NT
“Silent in the Churches”: On the Role of Women in 1 Cor 14:33b-36
Why is the Doctrine of Penal Substitution Again Coming Under Attack?

Critiques and Reviews
The Legacy of Don Carson
Detailed Analysis of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church
Review of Christ and Culture Revisited

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