And Try to Say “Bravely” Without the Voice Quavering

“We learn, for instance, that sexual intercourse belongs only in lifelong heterosexual marriage (Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:5-9; 1 Thess. 4:3-5). What is more, since marriage was established at creation, these divine standards apply to everybody, not just to believers. It is impossible, therefore, to limit the faithful teaching of biblical sex ethics to the congregation; we also have to be involved in public discussion about marriage, about divorce, about the remarriage of divorced persons and about homosexual partnerships. Christians should discuss these issues thoroughly and should use the pulpit to do so clearly and bravely.”

Stott, The Challenge of Preaching, p. 38

The Need to Touch Down

“Preachers who are theologically conservative tend to make the mistake of living only on the Bible side of the gulf. That is where we feel comfortable and safe. We believe the Bible, love the Bible, read the Bible, study the Bible and preach the Bible message. But we are not at home in the modern world on the other side of the gulf. It bewilders and threatens us. So our bridge is firmly rooted in the Bible but never reaches the other side”

Stott, The Challenge of Preaching, p. 32.

So Logging Trucks Can Get Through

“The [next] metaphor presents the preacher as ‘a worker who does not need to be ashamed’ because he ‘handles the word of truth’ skillfully (2 Tim. 2:15). In other contexts, the Greek verb used here means ‘able to cut a straight path through country that is forested or difficult to pass through so that a traveller can go directly to his destination.’ This straight teaching contrasts with the false teaching of those who swerve from the truth (2 Tim. 2:18), ESV). Our exposition must be faithful and simple so that our hearers can understand and follow it easily.”

Stott, The Challenge of Preaching, p. 31

Two Traps

Exposition identifies the traps we must avoid. The two main pitfalls are forgetfulness and disloyalty. The forgetful expositor loses sight of his text when he follows his own ideas and forgets to follow what the text says. The disloyal expositor appears to stick to his text, but strains and stretches it so that it means something quite different from its original and natural meaning”

Stott, The Challenge of Preaching, p. 29