Todayís Expositorís Quote is another from J.I. Packer's A Quest for Godliness:
Puritan preaching was doctrinal in its content. The Puritans received the Bible as a self-contained and self-interpreting revelation of God's mind. This revelation, the 'body of divinity' as they called it, is, they held, a unity, to which every part of the 'best of books' makes its own distinct contribution. It follows that the meaning of single texts cannot be properly discerned till they are seen in relation to the rest of the 'body'; and, conversely, that the better one's grasp of the whole, the more significance one will see in each part. To be a good expositor, therefore, one must first be a good theologian. Theology -- truth about God and man -- is what God has put into the texts of Scripture, and theology is what preachers must draw out of them. To the question, 'Should one preach doctrine?', the Puritan answer would be, 'Why, what else is there to preach?' Puritan preachers were not afraid to bring the profoundest theology into the pulpit if it bore on their hearers' salvation, nor to demand that men and women apply themselves to mastering it, nor to diagnose unwillingness to do so as a sign of insincerity. Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ's sheep. The preacher's job is to proclaim the faith, not to provide entertainment for unbelievers -- in other words, to feed the sheep rather than amuse the goats.
J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Crossway Books, 1990); from Chapter 17, "Puritan Preaching," p. 284-85.
[Do your sermons reflect an understanding of all of God's revelation? May our sermons be filled with the profoundest theology, and may God give us the grace and wisdom to know how best to communicate these deep truths to our listeners -- Coty ]
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