Is Expository Preaching Biblical?

Something I find rather interesting and ironic is that when we look in Scripture we can’t really find anything that resembles the model by which most conservative pastors preach today. Aside from the interesting congruence between preaching and audiences of lost people (as opposed to primarily preaching to Christians, such as the modern practice is) we also don’t see anything like the expository model of preaching most preachers follow today.

So, from what I understand, to preach an expository sermon is to preach a  sermon with a certain Bible passage as a focal point, with the attempt to explain what that passage means and to convince the audience to obey whatever the preacher has explained that Bible passage to mean.

The general principle in this form of teaching is that people should let the Bible (as explained by the preacher) inform them on how to live as Christians. They should listen to sermons explaining the Bible and take their cues from those sermons, and by extension the Bible, on what they are to think and do as Christians. This is why expository preaching exists, because topical preaching may risk the danger of manipulating the Bible into saying what the preacher wants it to say, whereas preaching from the text (and generally through the text) means that people are learning and living out what the Bible says. – This statement is an attempt to give the expository preacher the benefit of the doubt

The irony, of course, comes about in the fact that expository preaching cannot be found to be a consistent example, let alone given as a mandate, in the Bible.

Just kinda makes me wonder…


About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

2 responses to “Is Expository Preaching Biblical?

  • Steve Scott


    It depends on what you mean by “biblical.” Unbiblical is different from non-biblical. Personally, I don’t see expository preaching in the NT as it is practiced today.

    I find the argument for expository preaching – as against topical preaching – a bit strange because expository preaching doesn’t guarantee that the preacher deals with the text. Yes, he may READ the text out loud before his sermon, and he may talk about it during his sermon, but the true meaning can be ealily avoided. I’ve heard it happen numerous times from very gifted expositors.

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