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Faithful Preaching: Podcast with Dr. Tony Merida

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Just five years ago, the Walkman was still a viable piece of technology. Today, most people barely remember the contraption; modern high school students have never seen one – let alone held one in their hands. This is the age of personal technology – where information is taken by consumers on their terms for their use according to their preferences…Someone can easily zone out of their surroundings with an iPod; and computer; and now even an iPad.

With this realization, does Christian preaching matter? Surely a defined case as to the validity and viability of preaching is in order. How can an imperfect man stand and speak of words from an ancient book that many now consider out of date or a collection of ancient scrolls assembled over time by political power brokers out to deceive the entire world?

What is preaching and is there a defined way to preach that is acceptable or is it an anything goes type of craft? Does the Bible have anything to say about preaching – its form, content, and delivery? And if all Christian preaching were to go by the wayside today, would anyone really even notice?

Dr. Tony Merida is the author of a new book on preaching: Faithful Preaching: Declaring Scripture with Responsibility, Passion and Authenticity. Merida serves as the teaching pastor at the Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS and assistant professor of preaching at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Part I
Preaching – By what authority?; Preaching is giving the Bible a voice; Complete liberty to preach as we desire – any style will do?; Expository preaching – what is it?; Is exposition a requirement for true preaching?; The Bible should determine the sermon; Topositional sermons; Would the Apostle John be offended by my use of this passage today?; Taking a swim in the text – how to do it; Be yourself in preaching; Brooks – truth through personality; The Bible as the diving board or patio furniture or the pool; “Put a finger on the text”; 2nd level preaching – not just a receiver, but a reproducer; Work through a book of the Bible; Preaching can change people as they listen to the sermon – on the spot, in their seats; Christian preaching should shape worldview; Sanctification comes through the mind; How to preach Christ-centered sermons; Avoid moralistic preaching; If a Jewish Rabbi can sit through Christian preaching and not be offended something is wrong; Jesus is the hero of the Bible; Exegesis and Biblical theology; Hermeneutics – is it all a matter of interpretation?; Context is king; A text cannot mean what it never meant; Proper interpretation should minimize subjectivity; Study the text, Unify a redemptive theme, Construct an outline, Explanation/application, Introduction/Conclusion; Main Point of the Text (MPT) and the Main Point of the Sermon (MPS); A sermon should be a bullet, not a buckshot.

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Part II
Constructing an expositional outline; “Anchoring in” on a text; Personal training in preaching – “If you need shoes, buy books;” The call to preach is a call to study; Preachers under obligation to read; The call to be a pastor/theologian; Preachers must be able to teach; Preaching requires much study; Ezra 7:10 – devoted to the study of the Book; Sermon delivery – a preacher voice?; Passion does not mean loud; Teaching the Bible is not about boring the hearer; Be yourself, give people the Bible, make Jesus the hero; Should modern preachers use a pulpit?; The Bible must be visible while preaching; Preaching and contextualization – some things to reject, some things to redeem, some things to receive; Culture – high culture, folk culture, and pop culture; The culture of the Southern Baptist Convention; “More people care about culture than the gospel;” John Albert Broadus – the most important influence on Christian preaching in the modern era; William Perkins – The Art of Prophesying; Ministry is war; Preaching is warfare; Global missions and the local church; The church is center of God’s plan; Wartime questions: Where should we send our troops and money?; Who are good commanders for the SBC army?; The SBC and younger pastors; The search for leaders; “Are we willing to make changes to advance in enemy territory?”; The need for churches in major urban areas;

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  • Chad Kaminski

    Great words on an important topic. I remember my preaching class under Todd Fisher as one of the most essential, thought provoking, treasured learning experiences of my seminary education, and always worthy of review.

  • Brent

    Doug,

    A really good interview about the what and the why of preaching. One of the highlights of the interview for me was when Dr. Merida asked, “Would the author be offended by the way I used the text?” If the author would have been offended, it stands to reason we have also offended the Holy Spirit. Thanks for making content like this available. I hope a lot of pastors listen.

    Sincerely,

    Brent

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