Should we try to preach like Jesus?

The Aquila Report | 9/21/2019 | Staff
It would be extremely dangerous—even blasphemous—to indiscriminately model one’s preaching after Jesus. He just has too much on us. He’s God after all, and has a few more tools in his homiletical utility belt than we are equipped to handle. On the other hand, the need of our day is every bit as acute as when Jesus walked on the earth. The truth he taught remains the only antidote to the world’s spiritual poison.

One of the most interesting debates in homiletical circles is the degree to which contemporary preachers should preach like Jesus. On the surface, we might think it absolutely necessary to preach like the greatest Preacher ever. Isn’t he, after all, the perfect model? Shouldn’t we exhibit his simplicity, his connection with people, his boldness?

Preachers - Jesus - Methodology - Authors - Homiletics

Some go even further and suggest that 21st-century preachers should adopt Jesus’s methodology. Often authors and homiletics professors support their approach to preaching by appealing to some aspect of his technique or style. He was a storyteller, they say, so sermons should be stories. The suggestions continue: He spoke in parables. He preached inductively. He preached deductively. He preached gently. He preached boldly. Opposing approaches to preaching often locate their respective convictions in Jesus’s preaching.

In some ways, however, modern preachers should no more emulate Jesus’s preaching than contemporary Christians should copy the crucifixion. Just as the work of redemption was his alone, a work in which we may merely share, so elements of his preaching can only be reflected in ours, but never actually appropriated.

Unique - Marks - Jesus

The unique and distinctive marks of Jesus’s...
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