New interview with Stott on preaching

Christianity Today has released an interview with John Stott. Our readers might be interested in what he had to say about preaching (by the way, every preacher should read Stott’s classic Between Two Worlds which begins with the wonderful line, “Preaching is indispensable to Christianity,” pg.15).

Do you want to talk about preaching?
I never tire of doing that. I’m an impenitent believer in the importance of preaching. Of course, that’s biblical preaching.

Biblical preaching has fallen on hard times in many places. What do you say to a pastor who is desperately trying to hold his congregation’s attention and really doesn’t have the confidence that enables one to just preach from a biblical text?
It’s the same issue across the globe. Churches live, grow, and flourish by the Word of God. And they languish and even perish without it.

So the Langham Partnership International (see “Legacy of a Global Leader,”) has three basic convictions. Conviction one is that God wants his church to grow. One of the verses that expresses this best is Colossians 1:28-29, in which Paul says we proclaim Christ, warning everybody and teaching everybody in all wisdom, in order that we may present everybody mature in Christ. There’s a plain call to maturity, to grow up out of babyhood.

Second, they grow by the Word of God. I suppose you could concede that there are other ways by which the church grows, but if you take the New Testament as a whole, it’s the Word of God that matures the people of God.

Which brings me to the third conviction, that the Word of God comes to the people of God mainly, though not exclusively, through preaching. I often envisage on a Sunday morning the amazing spectacle of the people of God converging on their places of worship all over the world. They’re going to medieval cathedrals, to house churches, to the open air. They know that in the course of the worship service there will be a sermon, and it should be a biblical sermon, so that through the Word of God they may grow.

When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God’s Word to expound. We need to emphasize the glory, the privilege, of sharing God’s truth with people.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. John Stott’s book “Between Two Worlds” is indeed a classic.

    Do I know that feeling when John Scott said,
    When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God’s Word to expound. We need to emphasize the glory, the privilege, of sharing God’s truth with people.

    For more than forty years that has been the passion of my soul, mind, heart to teaching the Word of God.

  2. Charles-

    Thanks for your testimony! Preach on brother.

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