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The Tension Between Clarity and Suspense

How to choose between inductive and deductive logic

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Distinguishing between inductive and deductive preaching can be difficult. Inductive preaching essentially asks a question and arrives at the answer toward the latter part of the sermon. Deductive is the opposite of that. In deductive preaching you give the declarative statement up front and then support it. So the styles differ by whether the listener hears the point you're going to make up front, or they hear the question and then arrive at the answer through a progression.

We make serious choices between induction and deduction in four places of a sermon.

1. The overall sermon pattern

The first choice is whether the overall sermon pattern is going to be deductive or inductive. Will the listener get my central truth up front or will they learn it later in the message?

The advantage of a deductive structure is that the big idea is up front. It's clear. It's early so the listener grabs onto it. The disadvantage is you give away all the cookies at the start. The listener can say, "Got it. I'm ...

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