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John Stott On Expository Preaching

John Stott

Quoting John Stott:

All true Christian preaching is expository preaching. . . . To expound Scripture is to bring out of the text what is there and expose it to view. The expositor prizes open what appears to be closed, makes plain what is obscure, unravels what is knotted and unfolds what is tightly packed. The opposite of exposition is ‘imposition’, which is to impose on the text what is not there. But the text in question could be a verse, or a sentence, or even a single word. It could equally be a paragraph, or a chapter, or a whole book. The size of the text is immaterial, so long as it is biblical. What matters is what we do with it. Whether it is long or short, our responsibility as expositors is to open it up in such a way that it speaks its message clearly, plainly, accurately, relevantly, without addition, subtraction or falsification. In expository preaching the biblical text is neither a conventional introduction to a sermon on a largely different theme, nor a convenient peg on which to hang a ragbag of miscellaneous thoughts, but a master which dictates and controls what is said.

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  1. […] John Stott On Expository Preaching (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com) […]

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    • Response to women preachers in article linked above:

      The overwhelming pattern through the entire history of the church has been that the office of pastor or elder is reserved for men. Although this does not prove that such a pattern is correct, it should give us pause to reflect before declaring that the church is historically wrong on this issue.

      In 1 Timothy 2:11 – 14, addresses this issue directly. When speaking about the assembled church, Paul says, “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men.” These are functions carried out by the elders or pastor in a church. The unique function of the elders is what Paul is forbidding to women in the church.

      Even though the apostles are not the same as elders in a local church, it is important to understand that Jesus established the example of male leadership in the church by appointing only men as apostles. Jesus, the head of the church, is a man. It is the 12 male apostles who will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28) Their names will be written forever on the foundations of the heavenly city. (Revelation 21:14) Therefore, there is no eternal model of equal roles for men and women. Men and women are equally loved by God, but it is not true that women have equal access to every office in the church. Men have been assigned the offices of elder and pastor.

      Now, there are those who object that the culture of that place and time would not have accepted anything other than male leadership. This objection is a slander against Jesus’ integrity and courage. Jesus was not afraid to break social customs when a moral principle was at stake. He publicly criticized the Pharisees. He healed on the Sabbath. He spoke to the Samaritan women. He cleansed the temple. He also ate with tax collectors and sinners. If Jesus had wanted to establish equal assess to the highest church offices for men and women, he would have appointed some women apostles in spite of cultural opposition. But he did not.

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