Friday, 13 June 2008

Peter Adam on Preaching

The Gospel Training Trust ran a preaching conference this past week with Peter Adam, principal of Ridely Theological College in Melbourne. The week was a great blessing, with Peter giving some very pastorally sensitive sermons from 2 Corinthians, as well as teaching on how he finds the central ministry purpose of a book (similar to Dick Lucas’ melodic line). I thought I’d just bullet point some of the key ideas, thoughts, and issues which came out of the week.

  • The Bible, and in particular the New Testament epistles, were written primarily to congregations, not to individuals. Therefore, our preaching needs to be targeted at this congregational level, not just the ‘you and your relationship with God’ level.
  • This has implications for repentance – there are times and places where whole congregations need to repent.
  • Our aim in preaching is to communicate the entirety of the text. This means that not only the central message, but the motivation, emotion, structure, and so on are also communicated.
  • It was a huge relief to hear that I’m not the only one who finds himself getting frustrated and angry at not being able to get the big idea of a book/passage quickly and clearly.

The three days were also a great encouragement – it was great to see a number of MTS trainees and young preachers from around the country wrestling with the Bible and trying to proclaim God’s word clearly and faithfully. I also learnt that Peter Adam’s does a fantastic impression of Leon Morris, so if you ever meet him, ask him to do it for you!

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