Burn and Shine

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Two Pillars of Preaching

Lately, I’ve been reading The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper. In it, Piper unpacks his thoughts on effective, biblical preaching.

Piper has tremendously impacted my admiration of God, my hunger for Scripture, and my submission to Jesus — all primarily through his preaching. I feel deeply indebted to the man. Needless to say, I’ve been eager to read this book.

Piper defines preaching as, “…worshiping over the Word of God with explanation and exultation.” He continues, “There are always two parts to true worship. There is seeing God and there is savoring God.”

I have been struck by his emphasis on both of these pillars of preaching. Understanding in the mind and feeling in the heart are not at odds with one another. Rather, they compliment each other. Neither is optional. Seeing God without savoring God does not honor God, and savoring God without seeing God is impossible.

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The Doctrine of Least Meaning

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If you haven’t been able to tell yet, most of my posts involve borrowed insight from someone far wiser than me. This one will follow suit.

Recently, I heard John Piper mention a Bible-reading tool called “the doctrine of least meaning” to use when we approach difficult passages of Scripture. He admitted that some passages of the Bible are hard to understand—don’t get discouraged when you feel this way!

When we encounter a strange prophecy in Revelation, an extensive description of temple ornaments in 1 Kings, or an obscure oracle in Nahum, we’re likely to ask ourselves, “What the heck am I supposed to make of this?”

But if we can step back, look at the passage and say, “Well at the least, it probably means . . . ” that truth—whatever it is—is so significant that if it is believed, meditated on, and practiced, it will massively benefit our lives.

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