So, yesterday I asked if there is consistent biblical example or mandate to preach expository sermons. I don’t think there is and I find that pretty ironic since it is based on the principle that Christians should look to the Bible for answers on how to live (apparently excluding how to preach).
I made a statement about halfway through the post that I want to talk about in this post:
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.
In this, I think, is an assumption that makes expository preaching much more dangerous than topical preaching. When someone preaches an expository sermon the impression they give is that they are telling the audience what the Bible says, not what they think. This would be great, if it were true.
Expository sermons can be just as full of opinions and personal agendas as topical sermons. At least in a topical sermon it is clearly stated that the person is trying to make point X and will use Bible Passages a, b, and c to prove X. In the expository sermon point X is given some super-powerful association with being “from the Bible” and now carries the weight of being “biblical” as opposed to an opinion that is merely supported by the person’s interpretation of the Bible.
I think Steve hits on this point well in his comment on yesterday’s post:
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 easily avoided. I’ve heard it happen numerous times from very gifted expositors. (emphasis mine)
Be cautious of people who try and tell you what the Bible says, especially those who tell you they have no agenda.