Sometimes in preaching, the simplest rules are the best: every sermon needs both doctrine and practical application.
John Owen insisted on this: doctrine alone leads to intellectual pride; application alone leads people away from the gospel. Here is what he says, in his commentary on Hebrews:
Does the Christian need to know very much about his faith, in order to live fully for Christ? And how about preachers and pastors – how much do they need to know in order to exercise a fruitful gospel ministry?
Jonathan Edwards, minister in New England in the eighteenth century, believed that Christians need more than a superficial knowledge of Christian doctrine. Indeed, he argued, it was only through growth in doctrinal knowledge that a Christian could really make progress in his faith.
The second of our annual days especially run for Elders (or their equivalent) was held on Saturday 20th October 2012 and we were pleased to welcome forty men from around the country.
The three talks given on the day were under the headings: 'Biblical Basis', 'Doctrinal Briefing', and 'Pastoral Practice' and these are available to listen to by clicking on the titles below.