David Jackman on the Heart of Expository Preaching

WordPartners Staff

October 19, 2020

We recently had a conversation with David Jackman of Proclamation Trust and the Cornhill Training Course on expository preaching, gospel ministry, Scripture’s authorial intent, and preaching the genres of the Bible. Watch the full interview or the clip below.

Below is a brief transcript from the interview about the “heart” of expository ministry.

Todd Kelly of WordPartners: Can you explain what is at the heart of expository preaching? What is it intending to do?

David Jackman: Expository preaching takes the Bible seriously in it’s own terms. So, the expository preacher isn’t trying to do something with the Bible, he’s allowing the Bible to do something with him, which changes his mind and heart and then becomes the channel by which that message is passed on to others.

Lots of people will say, “I’m a Bible preacher”, and they certainly believe the Bible and will use the Bible. The analogy I use is to think about your church or ministry under the analogy of a car.

Where is the Bible in the car?

In some places, some churches, some Christians lives, the Bible is in the trunk of the car. It was put there a long time ago, nobody is quite sure what else is there; it got lost.

In some people and churches, the Bible is in the backseat of the car—and we all know how irritating backseat drives can be. They find the Bible more of an irritation than a help, because it says things they don’t want to hear.

In most evangelical churches, I would suggest, the Bible is often in the passenger seat of the car. It’s there to be consulted…it’s a map reader, you have a conversation with it like you might a passenger—but it is not driving the car.

In expository preaching, the Bible drives the sermon. The Bible is in the driving seat. Because the Bible is God’s Word, then Christ is in the driving seat of the church. If He isn’t in the driving seat, then I am in the driving seat. And I know that’s no good for the church. Expository preaching takes the Bible seriously as God’s inspired and inerrant Word and seeks to understand and explain it to drive the church and the Christian life and the ministry according to His truth.


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