Do Christian preachers actually need to preach from the Bible? Apparently yes and apparently no. Apparently ‘yes’ in that it seems some preachers feel obliged to at least use a verse from the Scriptures to pre-empt their message which may not necessarily bear any relationship to that verse. And apparently ‘no’ because some preachers don’t even feel the need to use even a verse of Scripture, or make any reference to it! Whether you preach topically or expositorily you must undertake the process of exegesis.
Exegesis is the process of getting out (‘ex’) of the text what is truly there in the first place. The opposite to exegesis is eisegesis. This is the process of putting into the text something that wasn’t intended by the author. So let’s explore how to do eisegesis (although most people don’t actually need to be instructed on how to do this!).
Being a pastor is the highest privilege someone could ever receive because they have devoted their life to fellowship with Christ, the Source of Life, their hearts to love God, the Source of Love, their minds to understand the Bible, the Source of Wisdom, and their efforts to preaching, the means of Grace for everlasting salvation of a soul. What a privilege!
One of the greatest things that I have learned from looking at the life and work of Dr. F.W. Boreham is that life’s greatest treasures are often obscured by the veil of familiarity. It often takes an outsider to see plainly what most locals do not. This sometimes sad fact was highlighted in some recent release movies such as “Spotlight” and “Concussion” where it was some outsiders who helped the locals see the gross injustices happening right under their noses. And I think the same phenomena often happens with how we read the Bible.
This was reinforced to me the other day when I spoke with a pastor about the Olivet Discourse (which occurs in Matthew 24 and 25). I simply asked some ‘familiarity-challenging’ questions about this passage. “Have you noticed that the word return does not occur in Matthew 24?” was one of the questions I asked. This challenge to consider this passage from a different perspective led to this pastor remarking, “How many other things have I just accepted without questioning to see if it was really what the Bible taught?” If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, here’s a few short articles which may give you a new perspective …