Haddon Robinson (1931-2017) changed his address last week from earth to heaven. Robinson is known for many things, but being a mentor for preachers is one the most notable gifts. The book on preaching that many school require their prospective preachers to purchase is his magnum opus Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages.
The book stands as a “how to” guide for expository preaching. It is inspiring, equipping, and encouraging. I have returned to this book a plethora of times for a refresher on the method of developing a sermon. In fact, I cannot think of another resource I would commend to any aspiring or current preacher than this one.
Here is a series of selected quotes from this resource:
- On Preaching Biblical Doctrine – “There is scarcely anything so dull and meaningless as Bible doctrine taught for its own sake. Truth divorced from life is not truth in its Biblical sense, but something else and someone else. … No man is better for knowing that God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth. The devil knows that, and so did Ahab and Judas Iscariot. No man is better for knowing that God so loved the world of men that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their redemption. In hell there are millions who know that. Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action.”
- On the Importance of a Good Sermon Introduction – “There are three types of preachers: those to whom you cannot listen; those to whom you can listen; and those to whom you must listen. During the introduction the congregation usually decides the kind of speaker addressing them that morning.:
- On the Definition of an Expository Sermon – “Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through him to the hearers.”
- On the Importance of a Conclusion to a Sermon – “As an experienced pilot knows that landing on airplane demands special concentration, so an able preacher understands that conclusions require thoughtful preparation.”
- On the Preacher’s Responsibility to Communicate with God – “Ultimately God is more interested in developing messengers than messages, and since the Holy Spirit confronts men primarily through the Bible, a preacher must learn to listen to God before he speaks for Him.”