Continuing our exploration of just what integrity would look like in the pulpit.
Integrity with Scripture — Questions About Authority
Questions & Queries:
- What does it mean to handle Scripture with integrity?
- How may our preaching model integrity with the text of Scripture for our people?
- In what ways may we violate integrity with the text of Scripture?
- What does integrity with Scripture have to do with the shape and form my sermon take?
- How does integrity with Scripture relate to the issue of authorial intent?
- Can we say with integrity “This text illustrates the truth that . . .”? as opposed to saying “God’s purpose for having this text written is . . .”?
- How does this relate to the work of setting forth a preaching calendar/schedule?
- How does this relate to preaching in response to crisis moments in the church?
- How does this relate to preaching a “prophetic” message to a particular situation?
- What makes for authority in preaching?
- Is our aim to preach with authority? Or to preach a message that has authority?
- How might confusing the two potentially jeopardize our integrity?
Notable & Quotable:
- “Our authority as preachers sent by God rises and falls with our manifest allegiance to the text of Scripture. I say ‘manifest’ because there are so many preachers who say they are doing exposition when they do not ground their assertions explicitly—‘manifestly’—in the text. They don’t show their people clearly that the assertions of their preaching are coming from specific, readable words of Scripture that the people can see for themselves.”[i]
- “The issue of authority is inescapable. Either the preacher or the text will be the operant authority. . . . We are called, not only to preach, but to preach the Word.”[ii]
[i] Piper, John, The Supremacy of God in Preaching (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1990), 41.
[ii] Mohler, Albert, “A Theology of Preaching,” Michael Duduit, ed., Handbook on Contemporary Preaching (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 15.