Bible Talk vs. Preaching

A Bible-talk (on my understanding) essentially conveys the idea that the speaker wants to talk about the Bible. in other words, the term suggests that it’s a lecture about the Bible. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s quite legitimate to talk about the background, language and meaning of the Bible. The question is: is it enough? Is this what is meant by “preaching” in Scripture? I don’t think it is.

The difference between a sermon and a Bible-talk or lecture is that a sermon is meant to be a sharp arrow that is aimed at the heart. Paul says to the Thessalonians that the gospel he preached came “not in words only but also in power, in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction”. Incidentally, the conviction that Paul refers to is not simply conviction in the hearers; it’s conviction in the preacher as well. A preacher must be absolutely convinced of the truth of what he is saying. Unless the preacher is convicted he is not going to convict anyone else. This means that preaching must be aimed at the heart whereas the terms “lecture” or “Bible-talk” suggest that their main aim is to impart information.

(The Rt. Rev. David Jones, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. Quoted from the Spring 2012 edition of AP Magazine. For the full interview


About Pete

I am a child of God, a husband, a father of four children, a pastor, and a church planter. I live in Sydney Australia and live to see Jesus made famous in this city and be the only God people worship.

Posted on August 6, 2012, in Ministry, Preachng and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Daniel O'Regan

    Very interesting topic. What makes it even more interesting is if we see how the church fathers preached, i.e. exactly how Jesus and the apostles preached. I don’t get the sense that i’m at a university lecture when reading Polycarp – rather, I’m convinced that my Christianity is weak and floundering in comparison and I am driven to a greater zeal. “aimed at the heart…”

  2. My guess is that people lean towards ‘Bible talk’ because they want to make Christianity as accessible as possible to an increasingly post-Christian Australia. I reckon most people who are doing ‘Bible talks’ have a high view of Scripture, and think of themselves as doing more than just a lecture.

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