Chapter 3

Contagious Passion

Your preaching must capture interest, imagination, and emotion.

If you want your listeners to catch fire, you must catch fire yourself. If you do catch fire, many of them will burn with you. Pastor and rhetorical scholar Hugh Blair said it this way in the 18th century: "There is obviously a contagion among the passions." I'd like to speak to you about this contagious passion.

Begin by asking if the topic of contagious passion is worth our time. Isn't logos what counts (exegesis, research, biblical fidelity, and truth) in a message? It absolutely counts, but we're talking about communication, how to communicate content, how to express what we are expounding, and how to explode or project the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. How are we to project the joy of the Lord which is our strength? How are we to express the magnetic beauty of the gospel?

To the person who asks about logos versus pathos: We can't separate logos from pathos. The Bible's word is "heart." The old dichotomy between "head" and "heart," ...

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