This last part of the “Preaching We Need” mini-series comes from one of Southern Seminary’s finest preachers, Dr. Jimmy Scroggins. The dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the seminary, Scroggins is a born preacher and a personal friend. He possesses the winsomeness, the sharp mind, and the masculine force necessary to construct and deliver a powerful sermon. Without fail, he makes good on his abilities. I find that his sermons usually drive a single point, though from different angles, as if Scroggins is hammering the listener with gospel truth from all angles. He’s a good one to listen to when you know you need a talking to, a wake-up call.
To listen to this preacher, go here, and click on the “Chapel Message (Romans 12:14-21)” link.
I was personally struck by Scroggins’s plain and powerful appeal to forgive. There is such a need for clear, easily applicable preaching. In fact, the more preaching I listen to, the more I am convinced that the best preachers don’t attempt to make eight different applications, as many young guys like myself do. The best preachers often drive home a single point, just one, that the reader cannot help but think about and apply. That’s an encouraging thought, actually, for a young preacher. Perhaps you don’t need to come up with eight original, homespun application points. Perhaps you need to unearth the thrust of the passage, the passage’s point, and then drive it home in the minds of your hearers. I challenge you to try just that in your next sermon. Take all your effort, all your exegesis, and shoot it like an arrow at your target–the heart. I would guess that your preaching will be better remembered than if you had done otherwise.
Very quickly, I want to go back to yesterday’s links and encourage you to listen to the third sermon of the Keller links. If you do not listen to the other two, that’s okay. The third is worth its weight in gold. Keller has such a keen understanding of the psychology of sin. He makes the point that all sinners, like Jacob in Genesis, are seeking to find their happiness and fulfillment in something besides God. He then ties it all back to Christ, though he does so on such a fine point, with such homiletical artistry, that you almost miss it. For those seeking to learn how to preach all of Scripture from a Christocentric viewpoint (and it is my contention that this should be all of us), you can find no finer teacher than Keller. He is a master of making the point of the text as given to its original hearers, thus discovering the truth it reveals about God and man, and then making the point as it relates to Christ. He does all this with such elegance and skill that one can almost miss his adeptness. But then, that is the mark of a master, is it not? To make the difficult look simple? Most of us, I would venture to say, excel at the converse.