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Tuesday
Jan212014

Theological Term of the Week 

preaching
“God speaking in the power of His Spirit about His Son from His word through a man”;1 “[t]he proclamation and explanation of the Word of God in Scripture with relevance to particular communities and their context.”2

  • From scripture:
    And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, ESV)
  • From the Second Helvetic Confession of Faith :
    Chapter 1
    Of The Holy Scripture Being the True Word of God
    4. The Preaching of the Word of God Is the Word of God. Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is preached, and received of the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be feigned, nor to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; who, although he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God abides true and good.
    5. Neither do we think that therefore the outward preaching is to be thought as fruitless because the instruction in true religion depends on the inward illumination of the Spirit, or because it is written “No man shall teach his neighbor; for all men shall know me”, and “He that watereth, or he that planteth, is nothing, but God that giveth the increase”. For albeit “No man can come to Christ, unless he be drawn by the Heavenly Father”, and be inwardly lightened by the Holy Spirit, yet we know undoubtedly that it is the will of God that his word should be preached even outwardly. God could indeed, by his Holy Spirit, or by the ministry of an angel, without the ministry of St. Peter, have taught Cornelius in Acts; but, nevertheless, he refers him to Peter, of whom the angel speaking says, “He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do”.
    6. Inward Illumination Does Not Eliminate External Preaching. For he that illuminates inwardly by giving men the Holy Spirit, the self-same, by way of commandment, said unto his disciples, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to the every creature” . And so Paul preached the Word outwardly to Lydia, a purple-seller among the Philippians; but the Lord inwardly opened the woman’s heart. And the same Paul, upon an elegant gradation fitly placed in the tenth chapter to the Romans, at last infers, “Therefore faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”.
  • From The Christian Faith by Michael Horton:
    Preaching involves teaching, but it is much more than that.  … The preaching of the gospel not only calls people to faith in Christ; it is the means by which the Spirit creates faith in their hearts… . In evangelical theologies, this sacramental aspect of God’s Word is often marginalized by a purely pedagogical (instructional) concept. It is therefore not surprising that when the Words is reduced to its didactic function there arises a longing of the people to encounter God here and now through other means.

Learn more:

  1. Thabiti Anyabwile: How Do You Define Preaching?; How Do You Define Preaching? 2; How Do You Define Preaching? 3; How Do You Define Preaching? 4; How Do You Define Preaching? 5; How Do You Define Preaching? 6.
  2. Truth for Today: A definition of preaching; The purposes of biblical preaching.
  3. Henry Mahan: What Is It to Preach the Gospel?
  4. Mark Dever: The Symbol and Significance of Preaching (audio), The Use of Preaching (audio), The Art of Preaching (audio).

Related terms:

Filed under Ecclesiology

1 From Thabiti Anyabwile in How Do You Define Preaching?.

From Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition by Kelly M. Kapic and Wesley Vander Lugt.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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Reader Comments (1)

I like that Michael Horton quotation!

January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim Shay

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