Alistair Begg on sermon preparation:
- Think yourself empty
- Read yourself full
- Write yourself clear
- Pray yourself hot
- Be yourself, but don’t preach yourself
Freedom of delivery in the pulpit depends upon careful organization in the study. A good teacher clears the way, declares the way, and then gets out of the way.
On prayer and preaching:
There is no change of fire in the pews if there is an iceberg in the pulpit.… When the apostles did some reorganization of the early church, it was because they realized how crucial it was for them to give themselves continually to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). … We dare not divorce our preaching from our praying.
Do both well.
“Three Questions with Alistair Begg,” Towers (Sep–Oct 2018)
Billy Graham spoke at a TED conference in 1998, 20 years before his death last month. He made it clear that he was ready for it even then. Graham was winsome as he asked the large gathering of tech leaders and thinkers how technology can address the problems of human evil, suffering and death.
I like what John Dyer had to say about it in 2010:
What I appreciate most about his talk is that Graham did not give it to a church audience who would immediately agree with him. Instead in his audiences are some of the greatest technological minds ever gathered, many of whom are no friends of religion. It’s a classic example of how a speaker can appeal to an audience’s sensibilities, gain a sense of trust, and then finally address the person of Jesus Christ.
And Dyer summed up Graham’s message:
… technology brings amazing benefits to humanity, but it’s failure to alleviate the brokenness of the human heart ultimately point us to our need for a Savior.
I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And then, while I slept, or drank Wittenberg beer with my Philip and my Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing. The Word did it all.
Quoted in Timothy George, Theology of the Reformers, 53, as quoted in Shawn Wright, “Luther’s Battle for Sola Scriptura,” Southern Seminary Magazine.
A witness said a well spoken and calm man recited Bible verses about sin and repentance on a packed passenger train. Some people panicked, prised open the doors and went on to the tracks.
The train’s guard, “came over the public address system asking people what they were doing on the tracks and warning them that they could die if they touched a rail.”
“‘Doomsday preacher’ on Wimbledon train causes passengers to flee,” The Guardian (Oct 2, 2017)