Good gracious, John Piper, God love ‘im.

I think the way that I became a preacher was by being passionately thrilled by what I was seeing in the Bible in seminary. Passionately thrilled! When Philippians began to open to me, Galatians open to me, Romans open to me, the Sermon on the Mount open to me in classes on exegesis (not homiletics, but exegesis), everything in me was feeling, “I want to say this to somebody. I want to find a way to say this because this is awesome, this is incredible!”

So for preachers today that go everywhere but the Bible to find something interesting or something scintillating and passionate, I say, “I don’t get it. I don’t get that at all!” Because I have to work hard to leave the Bible to go somewhere to find an illustration, because everything in the Bible is just blowing me away. And it is that sense of being blown away by what’s here—by the God that’s here, and the Christ that’s here, and the gospel that’s here, and the Spirit that’s here, and the life that is here—being blown away by this, I just say, “That’s got to get out.”

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7 thoughts on “The Grounds for Good Preaching”

  1. Mike Leake says:

    You beat me to it. I was going to cut and paste this very section. Great stuff!!!

  2. Josh O. says:

    Oh to see and savor the glory of God in Christ through Spirit-empowered exegesis and discourse analysis!Fantabulous!

  3. JAy. says:

    While I agree with Piper that the Bible has more great material than any preacher could ever cover, I think that there is also a warning in what Piper is saying.It is important to remember that we have the different terms "homiletics" and "exegesis". Don't get me wrong. Exegesis is great. I love it.But it doesn't always (if ever) preach very well. A congregation is full of a variety of people. Some people won't understand exegesis. (I'm not saying they are bad because of it; it's just a fact.) Some people won't bother to try and get through a sermon of pure exegesis. Some people will be new to the church and will be totally lost. And some people will learn during the sermon.But part of preaching is trying to provide something for everyone present. Therefore, I think a good pastor needs to try to include exegesis, homiletics, and illustration. This keeps the congregation interested and has a bigger impact on all those present.

  4. Jason says:

    Piper is just so brilliant.

  5. Roberta says:

    Years ago when I had just began studying the Bible I asked a Sunday school teacher if the Holy Spirit just taught him what to teach us about scripture. He said, "No, I have to dig to get the lesson each week," or some such. Then I understood that I would have to dig also. The Word is treasure!

  6. witness says:

    Oh for a congregation of people who want to hear the Word of God!

  7. Israel Sanchez says:

    This is such a beautiful and truthful quote. Thanks for sharing!

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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