Trueman, Lucas & Vaughan Roberts videos

Some videos from the recent Proc Trust Autumn Ministers’ Conference. For more info, see the report by Paul Levy and the Reflections on Eldership it provoked from Trueman.
There are 3 talks from Trueman on the Trinity and 3 from Dick Lucas on 2 Peter. Trueman rejects the concept of unction in talk 2 – for which Stuart Olyott would probably call him a “mediate regeneration-ist”!

More interesting posts coming soon! Maybe!

What preaching should be

From The Days of the Fathers in Ross-shire:

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“There are some who preach before their people, like actors on the stage, to display themselves and to please their audience. Not such were the self-denied preachers of Ross-shire.

There are others who preach over their people. Studying for the highest, instead of doing so for the lowest, in intelligence, they elaborated learned treatises, which float like mist, when delivered, over the heads of their hearers. Not such were the earnest preachers of Ross-shire.

There are some who preach past their people. Directing their praise or their censure to intangible abstractions, they never take aim at the views and the conduct of the individuals before them. They step carefully aside, lest their hearers should be struck by their shafts, and aim them at phantoms beyond them. Not such were the faithful preachers of Ross-shire.

There are others who preach at their people, serving out in a sermon the gossip of the week, and seemingly possessed with the idea that the transgressor can be scolded out of the ways of iniquity. Not such were the wise preachers of Ross-shire.

There are some who preach towards their people. They aim well, but they are weak. Their eye is along the arrow towards the hearts of their hearers, but their arm is too feeble for sending it on to the mark. Superficial in their experience and in their knowledge, they reach not the cases of God’s people by their doctrine, and they strike with no vigour at the consciences of the ungodly. Not such were the powerful preachers of Ross-shire.

There are others still, who preach along their congregation. Instead of standing with their bow in front of the ranks, these archers take them in line, and, reducing their mark to an individual, never change the direction of their aim. Not such were the discriminating preachers of Ross-shire.

But there are a few who preach to the people directly and seasonably the mind of God in His Word, with authority, unction, wisdom, fervour, and love. Such as these last were the eminent preachers of Ross-shire.”

(via Iain D Campbell)

j c ryle desiring God piper

J C Ryle, Simplicity in Preaching:

“The first object of a minister should be to preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but “the truth as it is in Jesus.” But the next thing he ought to aim at is, that his sermon may be understood; and it will not be understood by most of his hearers if it is not simple.

Preaching or “Bible teaching”?

Is there any difference? Does it matter? The following lecture from Carla Trueman shows why “Bible teaching” is only half the job.

The lecture was Trueman’s 3rd on Martin Luther at Colorado Springs’ 2009 Reformation Day Conference.

Other good audio resources from Springs include the series on Sanctification which Dave Reese just finished in Airdrie (the ones I heard were really good – made me think of sanctification in a completely different way! – may do a full blog post on the series if Connor gets a couple of videos up), as well as him preaching through the Shorter Catechism and lecturing on the Apostles’ Creed – as well as his regular sermons.

Remarks on preaching and praying in public

by Mr John Livingstone [1603-1672, minister in Killinchy, Stranraer and Ancrum]

[The first in a series of potential actually useful to somebody posts of things that aren’t available anywhere else]

It is most probable that no gift, no pains, a man takes to fit himself for preaching, shall ever do good to the people or himself, except a man labour to have and keep his heart in a spiritual condition before God, depending on him always for furnishing and blessing. Earnest faith and prayer, a single aim at the glory of God and good of people, a sanctified heart and carriage, shall avail much for right preaching. There is sometimes somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to the matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is, or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections, and comes immediately from the Lord. But if there be any way to attain to such thing, it is by a heavenly disposition of the speaker. A man should especially read the writings, and labour to follow the gifts of those who God hath, in the most eminent manner, blessed with the converting and confirming of their hearers, rather than those who seem to have rare gifts for learning and delectation, without such success.
It is very neefdul that a man prudently discern what is the nature and extent of the gift that God hath given him, that in offering to imitate others he does not stretch beyond his own line, but only corrects the defects of his own gift; and what is good therein, labour to improve and exalt that.
It is very fitting that a man have plenty and choice words, that as need requires, he may vary his expression; and sometimes the enforcing of the same thing with diverse words to the same purpose hath its own use, especially to a dull auditory; and so we find, that often in the Prophets and Psalms, and poetic Scriptures, the same thing will be twice expressed only in different words. But a custom of multiplying synonymous words and epithets, and sentences to the same purpose, is very unsavoury to an understanding hearer, that seeks matter and not words, and would feign to proceed from scarcity of matter, and a desire to fill the hour any way.
The light of nature, which is a spark of the will of God, hath taught many useful rules, even to Pagans, [concerning] the right way of making solemn speeches before others, the most of which are to be applied to preaching with due discretion; so that what is thought unseemly in the one is to be avoided in the other. But the best rulers are taken from the preachings of Christ, of the apostles and prophets.

DIRECTIONS, MISCARRIAGES, AND EXTREMTIEIS IN PREACHING

I. For Matter.


1. A mediocrity should be kept, that there be not too much matter in one sermon, which but overburdeneth the memory of the hearers, and would seem to smell of ostentation [“pretentious display meant to impress others”]; and, on the other hand, that there be not too little, which hungers the auditory, and argues an empty gift.
2. The matter should not be too exquisite and fine, with abstruse learning and quaint notions, which go beyond the capacity of the vulgar, and also savoureth of ostentation; nor yet too common, and such as most of the auditory might themselves devise, for it procures careless hearing, and despising of the gift.

Moreover, these faults should be shunned:
1. Too many particular points, reckoned as 8, 10, &c., loads memory, and too few is flat.
2. Too exquisite method, and none almost at all.
3. Too much should not be left to [the Spirit’s] assistance in the time, and yet not all premeditated.
4. Ordinarily go not beyond the hour.
5. Not too much Scripture cited, nor too little.
6. Not to insist long in proving clear doctrines.
7. Not too few doctrines, nor too many.
8. Not to insist on points that may be spoken to on any text.
9. Neither too many similitudes, nor none at all.

II. Words.

1. Not too fine, nor too common.
2. Avoid many synonymous words and sentences.

III. Utterance and Voice.

1. Not like singing.
2. Not long-drawn words.
3. Not affect at a weeping-like voice.
4. Not too loud, nor too low.
5. Not to speak too fast, or too slow.
6. Not to interrupt with oft sighing.

Livingstone said, approaching his death, “I cannot say much of great services; yet if ever my heart was lifted up, it was in preaching of Jesus Christ”.

Taken from Thomas Houston, Life of Rev. John Livingstone, Works, iv, pp 320-3.

See also: Stuart Olyott – Reading the Bible and praying in public