Sinclair Ferguson examines the life and preaching ministry of John Flavel. Flavel was a non-conformist preacher in the 17th century who was exiled from Dartmouth during the Great Ejection. He, along with many others, was not allowed to preach within five miles of any major population center. Consequently, he was devoted to ministering to a single flock in an out-of-the-way place in the south of England.
Flavel epitomized the Puritan style of preaching, which was characterized by three dimensions.
The ministry of the gospel is a ministry of the Word of God
The ministry of the Word of God is a ministry to this particular world.
The ministry of the Word of God to this particular world by this particular worker.
This last dimension is something that is not well understood in our contemporary day, as sermons are reduced to mere facts and figures independent of personality. This didn’t sidestep the importance of carefully preaching the text. The Puritan sermon was a carefully wrought piece of work that began with a clear introduction to the text, an analysis of the key points of the text, an exposition of the truths enshrined in the text, and a clear explanation of how the particular truths arise from the text, and sensitivity in the handling of any difficulties. All of this would be done using plain speech and manifest love for the congregation.
Flavel was a remarkable illustration of this.
In fact, Flavel’s preaching and writing was very popular. A number of his books have remained in print and are available today.
The folks at Proclamation Trust have knocked it out of the park in technicolor. David Jackman, whom I admire for his engaging preaching, has created an extensive video and book study on preaching. And it’s all free.
Here’s their intro video.
From their website:
The purpose of this series of videos and accompanying manuals is to put resources into the hands of those who long, under God, to train up a new generation of faithful and effective Bible preachers.
Topics include: the nature and necessity of revelation, interpretation and application; apostolic priorities and practice; contemporary challenges in the culture and the church; careful reading and thoughtful analysis of Scripture; watching your life and doctrine; the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly.
This course helps you to train others to acquire and develop the necessary practical tools and skills to expound the Bible’s message. This includes both the preparation of the text and the presentation of the preaching, so as to connect that message to our contemporary cultures. The course seeks also to motivate the preacher to progress and perseverance, through spiritual encouragement, not only to be a skilled workman, but also to be maturing as a humble servant, whom God can use.
The combination of video teaching and downloadable materials for further discussion and practice exercises make this a flexible resource for training groups.
There is a worldwide need for the Word of God to be proclaimed and for Christians to be more deeply rooted in its truth. That is the heartbeat of Equipped to Preach the Word.
This is an amazing source from a place I consider a gold standard of preaching and equipping preachers to preach. Thank you David Jackman and your team at Proclamation Trust.
Dale Ralph Davis is well known for his masterful ability to preach the Old Testament historical texts. He has written commentaries in the Focus on the Bible series covering the historical books from Joshua and 2 Kings. In 2010 he delivered this message at the Trinity Baptist Pastor’s Conference in New Jersey.
Clarus is the SW Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition held in Albuquerque, NM this year in March. Among the plenaries were Don Carson, David Helm and Alistair Begg. The title of the conference was “Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and the Church.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently featured Alistair Begg, H. B. Charles and Al Mohler at the annual Expositors Summit.
From the website:
Preaching plays a vital role in a church’s health. For this reason, this year’s Expositors Summit aims to contribute to the health of local churches by restoring the primacy of expository preaching in the pulpit. Preachers, pastors, students and all who love the Scriptures are invited to hear keynote speakers R. Albert Mohler Jr., H.B. Charles Jr. and Alistair Begg at this Word-driven event.
“Preaching is the essential instrumentality through which God shapes his people.”
– R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Do you know how your understanding of preaching has been shaped in recent centuries by the Pietists, the Revivalists, the Liberals, the Pragmatists and the Consumerists? If you don’t, you need to because these influences are shaping the crisis of preaching in the church today. That’s why this message by Al Mohler deserves a wide, wide hearing. It is 21st Christian preaching and its origins 101.
The frightening reality today is that preaching has metamorphosized into many different forms, and we are therefore required to differentiate these unbiblical forms from true biblical preaching, and to do that we label biblical preaching as “expository” preaching. And sadly, expository preaching is far from the norm in the church today, and it’s no wonder given the contented widespread biblical ignorance we see in the Christian church.
Mohler is a champion for expository preaching, and in this message he carefully and wisely considers the many arguments given by opponents of expository preaching, and examines how each of these historically developed from bad, and even shocking theology. Hence his provocative title. This should be required listening for your leaders and discipleship groups, if not your whole church.
By the way, if you haven’t listened to any of the messages at the 9 Marks at SBTS conference you are missing a real treat.
Southern Seminary held The Expositor’s Summit in 2012 and it featured speakers including Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Ray Ortlund, Hershael York, Dan Dumas, Daniel Montgomery, Kevin Smith and Alistair Begg.
This years Expositors Conference was titled “The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching”, and featured Steve Lawson and Al Mohler as speakers. The conference was held in October at Lawson’s church in Mobile, Alabama.
Lawson delivered two 3-part messages: The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching, and The Good Shepherd and His Sheep.
Mohler gave three messages: The God Who Speaks, The God Who Shakes, and the God Who Saves.
Very interesting and enjoyable workshop that Colin Adams highlighted on his blog. From his blog:
Preaching from the Old Testament prophets can be hard. And as a pastor, you might feel alone. The prophets were the great preachers of their day. Yet, they faced similar challenges. And their message needs to be heard. This workshop is for pastors to get together and think carefully about how to preach from the Old Testament, focusing specifically on the prophet Zechariah.