Just explaining the Bible?

There’s an interesting discussion over at The Good Book Company Blog on how we introduce our preachers in church meetings. I know when I’ve led church services I’ve often used the familiar line ‘…and now X is going to explain the Bible to us’.

But is ‘explain the Bible’ really the most apt phrase? Does that really capture the hugeness of God himself speaking to our hearts as the message of the Bible is unpacked and applied? Maybe it explains in part why sermons are often seen merely as lectures or the ‘intellectual bit’. I’m reminded of Martin Lloyd-Jones’ line that expository preaching is actually ‘logic on fire’.

Of course when I preach I am trying to make clear, to explain, the meaning of the Scriptures so that it is understood. In that sense there is something gloriously simple about the human instrument, just expounding the truths of the Bible. But ‘explain the Bible’ does seem a little short of the mark.

A little short of the mark to describe the gracious act of God in addressing and transforming his people.

A little short of the mark to capture His powerful words of life going forth, the sword of the Spirit at work to bring people to faith.

What do you think? How would you describe preaching? Let me know know below and why not pop on over and join the discussion.


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