the weblog of Alan Knox

Follow up about preaching and sermons

Posted by on May 31, 2010 in discipleship | 7 comments

Follow up about preaching and sermons

I left this as a comment on a previous post, and thought I should share it here:

I think that the announcement/proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ to unbelievers is of utmost importance. I think this is the type of proclamation (i.e. “preaching”) that we see in the New Testament. I also think that this NT form of proclamation has little (if any) resemblance (in form, content, or context) to what is normally called “preaching” or “sermons” today.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-31-2010

    link to the previous post, please.

  2. 5-31-2010

    yes! Hey! I’m concerned – why aren’t your blogs coming up on my bloglines!?!? It says I’m subscribed?!?!

  3. 6-2-2010


    That is the thesis of a book I excerpted last year To Preach or Not to Preach. The book is very well footnoted with studies in the biblical text as well as studies on learning. In the end, he says we should drop the weekly sermon for believers and adopt a more interactive format—if we really want spiritual growth.


  4. 6-2-2010



    I don’t know why my posts wouldn’t show up in bloglines. Are they still not showing up?


    I remember the excerpts that you published from that book. I wish our library carried it. 🙂


  5. 6-3-2010

    Hey Alan. I was thinking about this post this morning.

    If we don’t see preaching to believers IN the epistles, don’t we see the epistles themselves preaching to believers? That is, don’t the mere existence of the epistles set the precedent for an extended, one-way “word” from the Lord from one individual (who’s life is more able to be devoted to explicit ministry, i.e. more holy and more learned) to an entire gathering of believers? Aren’t the epistles at minimum inspired sermons? After all, they were intended to be read aloud.

    Granted, there was clearly correspondence back to the apostles so that all edification and service was not purely unidirectional.

    Are you against sermons altogether, or are you merely trying to critique the American evangelical version of the clergy/laity divide?

  6. 6-3-2010

    Jonathon (Talloaf),

    My concern is not with “sermons” or “preaching” per se. As you pointed out, we often find teaching in the NT, and the epistles themselves were forms of teaching. However, I think the letter to the Hebrews is a good example. The author considered his writing a form of exhortation (Hebrews 13:22), he considered other Scriptures a form of exhortation (Hebrews 12:5-6), and he told his readers to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25). So, this type of exhortation is not unidirectional, nor is it only from one source. All are responsible for teaching each other and helping one another grow in maturity, not just one designated person.

    Also, another problem is, when we start reading the passages about “preaching” into the context of the church, we miss the scriptural context. Yes, preaching is VERY important! We are to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to unbelievers.


  7. 6-3-2010

    This is preaching…

    Detroit Preaching