Before the “Wow!” You Must Experience the “Woe!”

During a chapel sermon on Feb. 18, Dr. David Allen preached on Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in Isaiah 6:1-13. As he explained Isaiah’s response to seeing the Lord, Allen noted that if you want the “wow” of worship and service you must fi... Read More »

Text-Driven Preaching and Pragmatic Textual Analysis

Pragmatic analysis of texts asks the questions “What is the author’s purpose of a text?” and “What does an author desire to accomplish with his text.” The text-driven preacher is always attempting to accomplish something with every sermon. All verbal... Read More »

Four Types of Meaning in Texts

The text-driven preacher must recognize that there are four basic types of meaning conveyed in every text and context: referential, situational, structural and semantic. Referential meaning is that which is being talked about; the subject matter of a text. Sit... Read More »

Text-Driven Preaching and Linguistics: What the Preacher Must Know to be a Good Exegete

The painstaking work of exegesis is the foundation for text-driven preaching.[1] Exegesis precedes theology, and theology is derived from careful exegesis. To preach well, it is vital to understand certain basics about the nature of language and meaning.... Read More »

Text-Driven Preaching and Sermon Form

All preaching rests upon certain convictions about the nature of God, the Scriptures, and the Gospel. James Barr said he doubted whether the Bible itself, regardless of one’s view of inspiration, can furnish the preacher with a model for sermon form and cont... Read More »

An Altar Inscribed “To the Unknown Preaching Method”

On any given Sunday in today’s preaching pantheon, one can observe a diverse group of devotees, some paying homage to the chapel of “creativity,” others sitting at the feet of the “culturally relevant.” Some are transfixed at the nave marked “narra... Read More »

The Poison of Pride

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from David L. Allen’s commentary, 1-3 John: Fellowship in God’s Family, in the Preaching the Word Series, edited by R. Kent Hughes.[1]... Read More »

Gospel Lessons from a Train Whistle

I have always been partial to train whistles. My grandparents lived about a half mile from the railroad tracks in the little lazy mill town of Lindale, Ga. I would hear the train whistle blow day and night. My favorite time to listen was late on a fall night. ... Read More »

Nailed to a Bed of Pain: Lessons on Life and Death from John Donne

“God never uses a man greatly until he hurts him deeply.” So said A. W. Tozer. Few men can attest to this truth like John Donne, the 17th century English preacher, poet, and Dean of St. Paul’s Church in London from 1621 until his death in 1631. Today Don... Read More »

Of Polls and Preachers

So as not to be found unwilling to follow my own admonition to my preaching students (I tell them they “must read 3 books a week for the rest of your life” in order to continually improve their preaching effectiveness), one of my three books this week is C... Read More »