Topical or expository – which type of preaching is better? This was among the chief foci of discussion this past week in one of the private message groups I am a part of.
In the course of the discourse, from the comments of the other men engaged, and from pondering privately to myself, it seems there is some overlap.
On the one hand, every expository message has a topic – even when a sermon is part of a series going through a book of the Bible. The topic just so happens to be chosen by the text itself.
On the other hand, even every topical sermon should be expository – literally exposing the original intent of meaning in the passages considered.
The question then seems to be one of where the emphasis is placed. And as with so many other subjects, what we stress as of chief and primary importance does in the end turn out to make a great difference.
Being overly simplistic, we may be tempted to look at these sorts of things as being either one way or the other rather than both ways. But the challenge is in holding these two things in our hand at the same time in the proper proportion and relationship to one another. And the struggle is the glory.
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