Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

  • There are some preachers who love to working through Bible books in their preaching at a very slow rate. This is the only way, so the argument goes, that preachers will be able to pick up detail and get into some of the richness of the text, drawing out specific and text-driven application. I agree. Dick does too as he said to me just recently, "why don't people just preach on one verse any more? It's a good discipline"
  • There are some preachers who love to move apace. Moving swiftly through a book means that our people will understand the thrust of it and see where it is going and why: the wood will certainly not be lost for the trees. I agree. 

Did you see what I did there? I agree with both. It is most certainly a case of both/and not either/or. The truth is one of these will be our more comfortable position. And very often we will look down upon those who share the contrary view. If you heard Lloyd-Jones preaching through Romans (or read the books), you will be scandalized that anyone should dare to preach Romans 5 in just two chunks (as we're doing at present). However, if you grew up with a faster pace you will be aghast at the thought of taking just one rich verse in Romans and preaching it. Where to even start?

Both can be done in an expository way. As Mr Lucas often says, expository preaching is not so much a method as a mindset. This came home to me as I study Romans for myself. I'm primarily using Schreiner, by the way, having used Moo previously. I'm enjoying it so far, though the test for me is always how these commentators handle 9-11. Just the last two mornings. I've been in Romans 5 going very slowly indeed. There's such richness here. And this morning just two verses (Romans 5:15-16). There are, of course, theological issues to wrestle with here, but notwithstanding these, there is also divine richness which  - moving slowly - has taken my breath away. "Adam and Christ are analogous in that the status of all humanity depends on the work of Adam or the work of Christ" (Schreiner).

So, Mr Preacher, planning your preaching ahead. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow.