It should go without saying on this blog—but I will say it anyway: The Bible is essential for the life, health, and sustenance of the Church; it is the very Word of God to his people. Studying the Bible and communicating it effectively, though, requires loving, careful and hard work. Christians should love words—both written and spoken—simply because we are keepers, doers, and lovers of the Word. The preached-word, then, should emulate this careful love of words as we seek to effectively and accurately communicate God’s truth to his people through the art of preaching.
To this end, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is hosting the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The conference will take place March 11-12, 2016, and it’s not too late to register.
The title of this year’s conference is, “The Priorities of Interpretation: The Ministry of Commentators, Teachers, and Preachers.” Throughout the conference we will engage the task of interpreting Scripture for the sake of effective teaching and preaching. The conference will feature plenary speakers: Dr. J. Todd Billings (Western Theological Seminary), Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla (Dallas Theological Seminary) and Dr. Tremper Longman III (Westmont College), along with numerous breakout sessions.
Dr. David Turner, professor of New Testament, said this about the event:
“We have many experts on exegesis and many effective communicators, but we rarely have opportunity to think together about how the two disciplines intersect in a biblically accurate and culturally authentic sermon. This is one of those rare opportunities.”
This quote gets at the heart of a difficult balance that is often unaddressed by ministry leaders pressed by the demands of ministry. We rarely have the time or space to reflect on the relationship between careful analysis and meaningful proclamation of the biblical text. So take advantage of the times it is provided!
Faithfully preaching God’s Word is no easy undertaking and will require a generation of preachers and teachers committed to the art of preaching and to careful study of God’s word. When pastors and scholars dedicate themselves to this process, and bring their respective skills to sharpen each other, we can help each other faithfully proclaim the gospel with both effective communication and biblical truth.
As A.W. Tozer says in “Of God and Men,” “A Church can wither as surely under the ministry of soulless Bible exposition as it can where no Bible at all is given. To be effective the preacher’s message must be alive; it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God’s present voice to a particular people.” This takes work. So come, labor with us on March 11-12.
- Dates: March 11-12, 2016
- Location: Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
- Address: 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525