Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Joseph Parker Is In The Building

I just received 14 volumes of the 25 volume set of Joseph Parker's sermons. He was a great expository preacher in London during the later half of the 19th century. He was a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon and Alexander MacLaren. It is amazing that 3 of the greatest preachers of the last 200 years were in the same city at the same time. G. Campbell Morgan may have been at the same time and if that is the case, then 4. These are my four favorite preachers and I have collected quite a bit of each.

I have been asked if I sit down and read these sermons as I would a book. Every once in awhile I will, but normally, as I prepare a sermon, I do 4 things:

  1. I pray and meditate over the text. This may be a few days, a few weeks or a couple of months. Since I don't preach regularly, I have this luxury. I will be preaching twice in January, so there are two texts that I have read and reread and prayed about. What does the text say? Why does God want me to use these texts? What is the true meaning of these texts in context to the culture and scripture? How this be applied today?
  2. I exegete the passage to see what it really says in the original language. If it is a N.T. text, then I look at the verbals to see what is happening. Why is Jesus or Paul using the language he is using in that particular letter or situation? What is the background? Why is the letter being written or what is happening in the narrative? Are there any cultural idioms to be aware of?
  3. I look at other commentaries to see what conservative theologians have to say about the text.
  4. Lastly, I read sermons from preachers that I respect which include the men named earlier in this post. It doesn't hurt to read how God spoke through other men during different times.
These are the four things I do before I write out the sermon. My Pastor, Dr. Bobby Holt, was the one that helped me with this preparation style. I do not normally use a manuscript when I preach, but I have a detailed outline with me and any quotes I might use are spelled out completely in the outline.

Wow! I didn't realize how far off track I got. I start by telling you about my shipment of sermons by Joseph Parker and end up explaining my sermon preparation. I am excited about the shipment arriving and for the chance to preach a couple of times.


Rolland said...

It woudl have been amazing to be in England at that time with those preachers blazing in the pulpits every Sunday. Every Sunday it would be, "Where do I go today?"

Laverne said...

Keep up the good work.