Workshop Manual

Pastors preach in an image-based, postmodern (truth-relativizing, destructuralist), pragmatic and success oriented culture. Without even commenting on whether or not it is attainable, a belief in Truth—inerrant, sufficient, potent and exclusive Truth—is counter-cultural. Consequently, pastors have a profound lack of confidence in God’s Word and need to be convinced that expository preaching 1) is what God is asking of them and 2) that it brings about the radical gospel growth and maturation promised in the Word.

The workshops pose a unique challenge both to us and our participants. The very nature of these workshops assumes that this kind of exegesis or some quality of expositional preaching can be taught and learned. We assume that an explicatory method of preaching is an underlying and constant set of ideas (and rightly so given its Biblical foundation). In the Bible’s timelessness, this set of ideas must also be transferable. We can implement this practice to a greater or lesser extent and we can pass it along to the next generation. In some ways, this transferability rings counter-intuitive to the lore surrounding great expositional preachers. Can we implement the styles of Spurgeon or the methods of Lloyd-Jones? Can we adequately follow in the tradition of the great Charles Simeon? Can we even approximate our contemporaries, Dick Lucas and John Stott? Common wisdom would suggest that it is not possible to replicate their uncommon charisma in the pulpit or extraordinary understanding in study. At the same time, we reject the notion that their grasp of exegesis is necessarily unique. In other words, we do not advocate the mimicry of personae, but we firmly believe that there is some element to their handling of Scripture, an aspect of their expositional minds, that is learn-able and transferable from one generation to the next.