• W. Austin Gardner

The Prevailing Lack of a Bible-centered Emphasis in the Pulpit


No fact of current religious life indicates quite so forcefully the need for Bible preaching in our day as this. The pivotal injunction to every Christian minister to “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:1), urged so solemnly by the great apostle upon young Timothy, has been ignored to a large extent by the ministry of our day.


Instead of “preach the Word” present-day pulpit practice would rather render the passage: “preach ethics, social betterment and cultural progress, using the Word as a springboard.”


But there is a vast difference between preaching the Bible and using the Bible as a springboard from which to jump into a discussion of one’s own thoughts.


It is one thing to utilize the Bible as a sourcebook furnishing the content of the message.


It is quite another thing to employ it as a mere “textual repository” to supply germinal ideas to develop human impressions and opinions.


There is a chasm, too, between preaching the Bible and discoursing about the Bible. Strictly speaking, the contrast between the pulpit procedure is the difference between preaching and lecturing.

Merrill F. Unger, “The Need of Expository Preaching in the Twentieth Century,” Bibliotheca Sacra 111 (1954): 230–231.

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